Organisations thinking about impleenting a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, should consider the following issues:
For me the purpose of life is to know other people…is to discover what life is. Who inhabits the world? What is it to be human? What can I give to the world which it doesn’t have…a gift for tolerating my presence in this world..…and unless I know the people, I can’t know what it does not have - Theodore Zeldin
Imagine balancing self-interest and caring for others. If this is possible, then:
(1) What is the approximate balance between the two today - in individuals, organisations and societies? How much time do we really spend thinking about and then acting on other people's needs?
Please see below pre-2016 intelligence about responsibility. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.
- In 'Social Saints, Fiscal Fiends', The Economist argued that the CEO school of corporate responsibility has something going for it. Such bosses are right to argue that a business’s main contribution to society is to provide jobs and income. They are also right to argue for tax harmonisation: America has only itself to blame if firms revolt against its high corporate-tax rate. But they should recognise that there is a big difference between moving to a place like Ireland because it has made a more sensible trade-off between collecting taxes and promoting business, and indulging in contortions such as the “Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich”, whose only aim is to avoid paying taxes anywhere. They also need to recognise that there is a big difference between worrying that government is inefficient and pretending that it is irrelevant, and thus that contributing to its upkeep is unnecessary.
- A company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity is inevitably tied to its brand perception. Speaking at Marketing’s PR Asia 2015 conference, the director of communications & government affairs for Kimberly-Clark presented a case study on how a company can go beyond corporate "green-washing" to implement truly effective CSR policies that enhance corporate reputations. The company partnered with various NGOs to increase local participation for its CSR initiatives. This helped to forge a new, profitable and more sustainable business future for both Kimberly-Clark and the communities that it has adopted as part of its CSR drive.
- However, VW was also a global leader in CSR. Its annual report was packed full of lovingly described projects it backed and charities it supported. It was a “thought leader” on dozens of different weighty issues, and a “change agent” for improving society. Globally, it was ranked as the 11th best company in the world for its corporate social responsibility work.
The 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos asked: how can business regain trust through long-term value creation?
During November 2013, we listened to and would recommend the following podcasts:
There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction- the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you - JK Rowling, http://harvardmagazine.com/go/jkrowling.html
You have to take responsibility for everything and everyone - Fyodor Dostoyevsy, The Brothers Karamazov