TOMS is a for-profit organization that is centered on giving to those in need. The company sells shoes in various retail locations and online. For every pair of shoes sold to a customer, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need of footwear. According to the TOMS website, Blake Mycoskie began the business in 2006. The company refers to its business practice as a “One for One mission.” This company would be seen by R. Edward Freeman as complying with the “Stakeholder theory” because it rejects the Separation Thesis, since the company’s business and morals are linked together.
Furthermore, TOMS portrays the four principles of stakeholder capitalism that Freeman outlines in his article. First of all, the company exhibits The Principle of Stakeholder Cooperation through its ability to meet the needs of less fortunate children—the need for footwear—as well as the needs and desires of its employees—for example, in the form of wages. There is also evidence of The Principle of Complexity within the company, because TOMS is a perfect example of a business with stakeholders that are not solely focused on increasing profits, but on helping individuals in need as well. There is a balance of values within the company. The Principle of Continuous Creation is also apparent in TOMS because the company consists of a group of people working together to expand on their ideas and create more value. For example, more recently TOMS began TOMS Eyewear—a new branch of the business in which for every pair of glasses that a customer purchases, a pair is donated to a person in need of glasses. Lastly, TOMS portrays The Principle of Emergent Competition because the company competes freely and focuses on its unique business mission.
TOMS is an example of stakeholder—not shareholder—managing. All of the stakeholders involved in the business process play a role in the company’s success. As a result, this company would be an appropriate example of “Business Ethics at the Millennium.”