Core values for CSR

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

The excerpt below is from a paper of mine which will be published in the Special Issue of the Corporate Governance Journal and presented at the 2011 colloquium of EABIS, the Academy of Business in Society. I have co-authored the paper with Andrew Kakabadse and Nada Kakabadse.

The paper will be published on September 5th and looks at the core values which must underpin CSR programmes if they are to be effective.

On April 20th, 2010 an explosion on the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil rig exposed the United States to an historic ecological disaster.

This episode illustrates the limits of CSR programmes currently undertaken by global businesses. The logical rules and regulations which business and government leaders created did not work to exemplify the broadly shared social values that US society deemed to be important.  Representing our deeply held values and the metaphorical expressions of our beliefs, these accountability structures must change over time to continue to align with prevailing beliefs and core values. This global CSR failure also reflects the dynamic process which CSR programmes must undergo over time.

Emerging markets can also learn a valuable lesson from this case study as they continue on their path of economic development. Their CSR programmes should also reflect their own cultures’ unique social norms and be dynamic enough to respond to unprecedented threats due to increased stakeholder scrutiny and constraints on environmental and other resources.

Exploring this case study provides important theoretical lessons for companies in emerging markets and elsewhere to consider.  For instance, can increased regulation prevent corrupt or unaccountable corporate practices? Are voluntary systems of accountability fundamentally flawed and fuelled only by corporate disdain for regulation? And to what extent should markets be allowed to dictate the course of play vis-à-vis the more arm’s length yet expensive bureaucracy created by government regulation?

Corporate responsibility cannot be practiced if various personal attributes do not exist in the individuals within the company.  These consist of the four pillars of leadership, ethics, personal responsibility and trust, all of which are dynamic in nature. Incorporating these personal qualities can help improve the planning and practice of CSR programmes as well.

You say of this article...

Bookmark and Share