The Social Audit Consumer Handbook: A Guide to the Social by Charles Medawar

By Charles Medawar

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Additional resources for The Social Audit Consumer Handbook: A Guide to the Social Responsibilities of Business to the Consumer

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But it clearly also applies to products which are, or should be, designed to meet substantial needs-but which actually do not. There are countless examples of these, many obvious to people without formal training in design. The following (which have nothing to do with Papanek) relate to road vehicles : -Most bicycles have caliper brakes whose blocks rub helplessly in wet weather against the smooth stylish chromium-plated rim of the wheel. Over 20 years ago, the governments' Transport and Road Research Laboratory reported that braking performance in wet weather could be improved about 20 per cent with unplated rims.

There is no simple or single method by which these many different effects can be either anticipated, classified or reviewed. However, the methods used by US government agencies in the preparation of 'Environmental Impact Statements' suggest one possible approachand one which is almost certainly well in advance of any comparable methods for examining the impact of business on the community. At the same time, this approach can be used only to examine what the consequences of particular decisions are or may be.

Ation The first part of this chapter explains what information you may need; the second suggests how to obtain and use it. Information necessary A social audit is concerned ultimately with four questions: the first two concern the causes of a company's behaviour, while the other two relate to effects. Each of these four main questions (below left) suggests further questions (below right). And these, in turn, lead to more and more specific questions about what companies do and why. (I) What does the company aim to do?

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