Alcoa and the Importance of Community

Alcoa and the Importance of Community

BUS 250

Corporate and Social Responsibility

Alcoa and the Importance of Community

Alcoa, community, environment, and how they all work together to make a better company. Lets start with the community that Alcoa has created. The company started small in Pittsburgh, PA and it is easy to see that it is a Geography-Based Community. Alcoa has been able to keep this same type of community going throughout its history by reaching out, to the local community at each new location it operates in. “In each geographic area, corporate leaders build a connection to the regional, local, and maybe even international social system” (Hammond & Christensen, 2016, Section 4.1, para. 7). For each community Alcoa operates in they try to help develop economic activity, promote good environmental practices and offer social programs. The investment that Alcoa makes in the community is meant to have a lasting impact even after Alcoa is gone. Having the smallest possible impact on the environment is also a huge concern for Alcoa; they are continuously trying to find new ways to reduce emissions, waste, and use less energy.

Top management at Alcoa plays a large role in developing an ethical climate and setting a good example for its employees. A code of conduct training they call, Ethics and Compliance Program, is used by Alcoa to teach each and every employee the importance of staying consistent and true to their values especially integrity. This training is required for all employees and new hires company wide to ensure they understand what it means to act with integrity and what is expected of them. By putting such an emphasis on values it builds a very ethical work climate on all sides and gives incentive to do the right thing.

How do we see our identity? I think Alcoa would identify as a collectivist company, or at least strive to be one. Collectivists, (They typically prefer to bring honor and attention to the group, team, or organization as a whole” (Hammond & Christensen, 2016, Section 4.3, para. 11). Team performance is valued especially when it comes to the community that the employee is operating in, and Alcoa lets it’s employees know that team work is very important. It seems to me that any employee that “sticks out” at Alcoa will be asked something like, “what have you done to help the team today”? I feel that they will look for team players that will continue to promote good values and the importance of community, environment and help them move up higher in the company. Keeping those types of employees around and promoting them to positions of authority will only strengthen the company and help to continue promoting those values.

How does Alcoa make agreements? They are more of a universalist society, “In universalist societies, laws are expected to be upheld and followed by everyone” (Hammond & Christensen, 2016, Section 4.1, para. 14). Alcoa expects its employees and partners to follow the rules and honor the company values, and to run an honest company. Following the rules is very important to them especially when it comes to community and the environment, which is apparent based off all the training and resources Alcoa has dedicated to both of those. I think there are also small traces of particularism in the company as well because they foster good relationships with the employees, customers, partners, and value those relationships while striving constantly to improve them. Again they value the community relationships and the environment and they accomplish that by expecting everyone to follow the rules, and do what they can to help the community and environment.


Alcoa. (2018). Home page. Retrieved from

Hammond, S. C., & Christensen, L. J (2016). Corporate & Social Responsibility: Road map for a Sustainable Future. Retrieved from