The meaning of positive social change

Explanation of my understanding of the meaning of positive social change

Social change is a concept that have captured the attention of most 21st century graduate student’s especially those doing graduate work at Walden university, as according to the Walden mission statement, social change is not just a phenomenon that they talk about, “it is who they are” (Walden University, 2015).

It is instructive to note that change is part of the daily lives of human beings, as the world is not a static place, but a dynamic place. If the issues and phenomena that humans interact with are going to change on a constant basis, why then not jump in front of that change and direct it towards the good of society, is a relevant question to ask? It is against this backdrop that Walden university decided to jump ahead of the cultural, environmental, innovative, population and technological forces that shape change and make it a positive experience for their graduate students in the 21st century.

The Walden graduate student is therefore availed the academic, social, cultural and spiritual experience to equip him or her with the type of education that will make a difference not only in his or her own life, but in the life of the larger community that he or she hails from and will potentially serve after graduation.

Thus, the Walden academic experience enriches the graduate student with several opportunities to use the education acquired at Walden to impact communities, through either the vision or mission statement of the university as encapsulated in the Walden mission statement, (Walden University, 2015), or the scholarly change curriculum, design to promote and pursue knowledge geared towards positive social change, or present papers and articles in the Journal of social changethat will inspire and impact communities and learners around the world, or use the applied change philosophy, by using the Walden annual global days service opportunity to volunteer in communities that need such services. Furthermore, students at Walden University are encouraged to prepare videos showing their work and engagement in positive social change projects, and compete with other Walden students for an annual price to show how their Walden education is helping them make a difference in their communities. There is also the Walden Study abroad project, where students are encouraged to travel abroad and participate in public service activities in foreign communities to teach them about the benefit of interacting with different cultures and sharing cultural experiences to deepen knowledge about other cultures. Lastly, there is the inspiring change experience, where Walden graduate students are offered the opportunity to hear lectures and public presentations of distinguished experts and scholars, to impart knowledge and help them see the world differently.

Refer to the additional sources you have reviewed this week, and comment on how they are shaping your experience.

In addition to the Walden experience of inspiring and motivating positive social change, the other issue shaping my perspective about the world is how the business world is changing by encapsulating positive social change through the concept of corporate social responsibility – the philosophy by which companies participate in doing good deeds in communities in which they operate, beside just being responsible to their shareholders.

As Aguinis & Glavas (2012) postulates, this concept or issue has been on the radar of businesses and firms for a very long time. However, the authors argue that it is only recently that interest in corporate social responsibility has gained importance to businesses. As such, businesses have gained interest in not just acquiring profits for their shareholders but have started taking interest and incorporating responsibilities of other stakeholders as well, that is, they are getting involved in knowing the communities they operate in, and responding to the demands and interests of customers, suppliers, employees, neighbors, governments, activists and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Aguinis & Glavas argue that one of the reasons firms engage in corporate social responsibility among others is due to institutional pressures, especially from stakeholders. This sentiment is captured by how corporate social responsibility from now on CSR has been applied to developing countries. As Aaron (2012) argue, by rationalizing that in the old model, called shareholder wealth maximization, multinational mining corporations did not feel responsible for the damage and destruction they caused to the ecology and physical environment they worked in, especially oil companies whose activities laid the environment, and its habitat to waste, without any concern for the people and aquatic life they destroyed, because according to them, they were paying taxes and royalties to their host governments, Knudsen (2014), anything else is not their responsibility.

All this changed when a new concept was introduced, as the new conception was a shift from the old way of doing business, as it was framed around the concept of sustainable development, a type of development where companies or businesses exploit resources especially mineral resources like oil with the aim of making sure that long-range plans were developed for future generations to continue benefitting from such resources. It is the type of development theory that informs the Millennium development goals of the United Nations. According to Aaron (2012), “by following socially responsible practices, the growth generated by the private sector will be more inclusive, equitable and poverty reducing” Aaron (2012).

Use the data you gathered from your analytic memo to support your explanation.

The data from my analytic memo demonstrate that like the Walden view of the world where the university  train their students to go out into the world and make a difference through positive social change, the change that was introduced through corporate social responsibility or CSR came from the perspective of stakeholders and activist who put pressure on corporate managers and forced companies to get involved in the communities in which they operate, and as the work of students of Walden, and the articles of  Aguinis & Glavas, Knudsen and Aaron show, positive social change can make a difference in the world through education and social action by stakeholders who work hard to force change for the social good.

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