INFORMATION RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 5
Hydro-QuebecCompany is the largest electricity company in Canada. The companygenerates, transports, and distributes electricity in North Americato approximately 3.6 million customers. However, multibillion dollarcompany has been faced with problems of cancellation due to thehighly publicized opposition from environmental activists andAboriginal rights group. This has also influenced public opinion onhow the company is contributing to social problems leading to greateropposition. Michael Porter’s presents a framework of shared values,by illustrating how business can gain a competitive advantage bysolving social problems (Porter, 2013). This paper will focus on howthe adaptation on Porter’s shared value framework can helpHydo-Quebec to increase profitability, solve social problems, and addvalue to the economy.
Porterpoints out that a business can gain a competitive advantage byfocusing on social and economic value. Business economic outcome andsocial responsibility is central when unlocking shared value for acompany, such as Hydro-Québec, as it results to scalable solutionsto social problems. Hydro-Québec has achieved this is through theimplementation of strategies such as job creation initiative,employment investment, and productivity enhancing initiatives amongothers. Hydro-Quebec became a state monopoly and soon largestemployer in the province. Since then, it is evident that thiselectric increased employability and, therefore, creating sharedvalue in the society. The company has created more jobs that havecontinued to address social situations in the communities, especiallythose caused by lack of employment opportunities and housing amongothers. Through job creation, Quebec has proven its ability toredefine relations with its labor force, the society and thegovernment to meet the challenge of the society and improveinternational competition.
Employmentinvestment is another important strategy addressed by Porters oncreating shared value. According to Fidler (1991), a society’sfuture wealth depends on its ability to investment on employmenttraining, skills improvement and education programs among others.This has become a major factor in determining the success of anorganization, as well as, its ability to compete in an increasinglyinternational economic context. Fidler (1991) holds that since 1960s,Québec has relentlessly pursued the objective of becoming a masterof its own development through educational programs and use ofinnovative technology. Fidler adds that the electric company hasdeveloped institutions able to contribute to economic development ina global trade context. Additionally, the company should takeadvantage of the recent technological development, by creating anenvironment that encourages e-learning at the workplace to ensurecontinued improvement of skill among the workforce. Internet trainingprograms are flexible and affordable, and they would enable theHydro-Quebec employee and the public to familiarize with thecompany’s mode of operation.
Theexistence of Hydro-Québec company has commitment of socialdevelopment in the community that continue to improve the standard ofliving by addressing societal problems. According to Froschauer(2011) the development of the hydroelectric company has been directlylinked with the improved infrastructure in urban communities,deepening chain of production and technological upgrade. Over thepast years, the company has invested on areas of internet technology,telecommunication infrastructure, and application of softwaretechnology to sustain their competitive advantage. This advancementsand improvement has also continued to facilitate employmentopportunities, as well as, foster growth of the community. Thisconcept has become a dominant trend worldwide, as it continues toreshape delivery of services for the company and community. Today,many companies are will to invest their profits on programs thatquicken the path of marketing.
Theshared value framework by Porter emphasizes on need to improve thelocal business environment. Hydro-Québec can attain this goalthrough collaboration with various private and public sectors toimprove innovation and efficiency. Domestic alliances usually involvemore creative members, who are oriented towards a goal a major goal,and many as well enjoy more governmental support. A research study bythe National Round Table (2012) suggests that collaboration withprivate sector highlights the importance of cooperation, andunderscores its support for government-funded research on measuresand solutions for pollution, climate change and its future impact onbusiness.
Porter’sframework highlights solutions for conventional wisdom, which hasbeen a major hindrance to gaining a competitive advantage in manybusinesses. Conventional wisdom supports the view that the moreprofits a business generates, the more social problems it creates. Porter illustrates how increased pollution from factory is linked toincreased profitability. However, conventional wisdom is misleading,untrue, and can be major hindrance to Hydro-Quebec competitiveadvantage. It is evident that Hydro-Quebec inability to increaseprofitability has resulted from the struggle of public pressure overenvironmental concerns among others. The opinion of leaders, media,and activist on the environmental impacts continues to influence theperception of the public. They tend to believe that the company isthe legitimate source of the social problem continues, thus,hindering the expansion of the company and limiting profitability.Obviously, these self-fulfilling prophecies have become a potentialcause of economic failure, as well as, low profitability inbusinesses. In order to overcome this problem, a business shouldchange how they see themselves, and how other people in the societysee them.
Fidler,R. (1991). Canada,adieu?: Quebec debates its future.Lantzville, B.C.: Oolichan Books
Froschauer,K. (2011). Whitegold hydroelectric power in Canada.Vancouver: UBC Press.
MichaelPorter (2013).Why business can be good at solving social problems. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ted.com/talks/michael_porter_why_business_can_be_good_at_solving_social_problems.html
NationalRound Table(2012). Facingthe Elements: Building Business Resilience in a Changing Climate //Case Studies.Ottawa, Ont.: National Round Table on the Environment and theEconomy.