Corporate Citizenship Audit

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Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has recently made a tweet suggesting that he was taking the company private once stock hit $420 per share. This has caused uproar with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The central concern for the SEC is that Musk made it seem like he already had the money lined up and the price confirmed, with a shareholder vote being the only thing standing between him and privatizing Tesla.

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(Irfan 2018). Since this tweet has caused so many issues, Musk has tried to backtrack but people are not letting it go. The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation and the SEC has now filed a suit against Musk. The SEC has gone through all of the aspects of this scandal including Musk taunting short sellers of company’s stock months before the tweet was written. Because of this and many other bizarre turns the SEC has decided that Musk should be fined and banned from serving as an executive or board member of any public company. The main concern with Musk’s tweet is that he already had everything set up to privatize the company. But this was not the case, few other people knew about the idea, no funding was guaranteed, and prices were not finalized. So Musk made this tweet without any evidence to back it up. This caused uproar for all investors and stakeholders for no reason.

Corporate social responsibility is defined as the conscious effort to operate in a manner that balances stakeholder interests. (Lussier 2018). Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. (Tesla 2018). Telsa is socially responsible because it focuses on their mission and tries to make the world a better place. On the corporate citizenship scale Tesla would be rated Level 5: Altruistic. Tesla’s primary corporate mission is focused on creating a better environment. They align all their products to fulfill their mission which is about creating a better environment. Tesla also tailors their marketing and communication towards their environmental protection efforts. Tesla, Inc. addresses stakeholders’ interests through a corporate social responsibility strategy that focuses on sustainability and environmental friendliness of automotive, energy storage, and energy generation products. (Greenspan 2018). By having this approach, Tesla’s stakeholders are benefitting and their brand image is improving. When the stakeholders benefit, Telsa benefits because the happier they are with the company the more they will put into the company. Tesla’s main stakeholders, in order of importance, include: communities (highest priority), customers, employees, investors/shareholders and governments. Tesla and communities directly benefit from each other. Communities benefit through development strategies that are made with Tesla’s cutting edge technology.

Tesla benefits from satisfying community needs because it boosts their image. Customers are a direct influence on Tesla’s revenues so the company works towards creating a better quality product at a better price.

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