December 06, 2008

CSR and Leadership

I must admit that one of the most important features of this module was the opportunity I had to find out more about Corporate Social Responsibity. The truth is that i followed 2 modules on Csr and Business Ethics in my undergraduate course but it seems that i cant get enough of it...

Probably because I have a personal interest in this area....

At this point I would like to share a personal experience i had recently connected to CSR...A few weeks ago at a careers fair here at Warwick I asked a representative of one of the high and mighty enterprises what are the perspectives of working in the Csr field of their business...The answer was shattering...to begin with she had no idea what i was talking about...then after i expained to her what is the concept of CSR she thought for a while and told me that IF something like that exists in their company, it will probably be run by the PR department...

Disappointment....

Considering what Paul mentioned this morning about convincing businesses to engage with the idea of csr, I feel that there is no other way but to present it as an indirect way of boosting brand image...

Afrer all Strategic Csr is Csr...Is it the why that matters..?I mean as long as they are doing it (no matter the reasons) that is good enough...Of course the idea of dong something is that u truly support what it stands for but is that always an option...It goes without saying that adopting a true CSR approach is far better...but how do u prove it...

In a way I wish that CEOs thought the way that guy from Xerox John Seeley thinks, who said that:

The job of leadership today is not about making money, its about making meaning

If u think about it the world is not lacking in money...but in meaning....

So maybe a more meaningfull approach can make the difference...

Because i fell that at the end of the day that's what counts...Making a difference


- 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Paul Roberts

    Lila, an interesting post about the difference between strategic CSR and what I call values-led CSR. If CSR is run by the PR department as in your example, what is the chance that responsibility will be demonstrated at any level other than the superficial? I think that the European Excellence Model shows the principle that profit (part of key performance results) is just one of many results that organizations should be interested in, and we should note that profit (and all of the other results criteria) is a result of performing the enablers well.

    So what should an organization that is striving for excellence focus on? To me, the answer is clear; focus on the enablers that deliver the results. If we focus on profit (or an outwardly impressive CSR portfolio) we will be tempted to take the actions that result in short term increases in profit that cannot be sustained over the long term. Similarly, our CSR portfolio will look impressive and glossy, but beneath the gloss there will be insufficient belief and commitment to deliver significant benefit to the community of which the organization is part.

    15 May 2009, 10:54

  2. Hi Lila
    You said Csr is Csr as long as companies are doing it, it doesnt matter why they do it is good enough. I’d say that kinda of shotgun approach to Csr is insuffcient because CEO has to report to its shareholders as well. People would question why he did what he did and what value it adds to the company

    A true strategic approach to Csr is more than just merely publicity. It should (i think) be aligned with business type and the business values (from its vision) in order to give employees a real sense of purpose. For example cholterol lowering drug manufacturing company should make strategic investment in heart foundations to show commitment to people’s physical health, not just trying to make a buck from people’s illnesses

    Having said that, I am surprised the rep from the ‘high and mighty’ company you mentioned didn’t know about CSR…what is the company name again?

    30 Jul 2009, 17:27


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