A study being undertaken at SMR International seeks to identify and publish steps leading to the development and implementation of a corporate social responsibility strategy. Just as they identify and share the elements of organizational knowledge strategy (and indeed of strategies for many other functions), organizational leaders must identify and examine steps to take to move forward with a workable corporate social responsibility strategy, ideally one that contributes to (or influences) corporate effectiveness.
Definitions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) vary, with the focus in some on corporate self-regulation integrated into the company’s business model and others aimed at ethical business practices and the company’s contribution to economic development. I happen to be drawn to a definition that comes from the green retail community, but it’s the idea that matters, not the origin of the definition. This one states simply that CSR is “the concept that all companies have obligations to the wider community and that good corporate citizenship extends further than simply following the law.”
This is a subject that has been touched upon locally, particularly with respect to my volunteer work in Kenya, with the Information Africa Organization (IAO), and I like the definition because it provides a subtle link to Peter Drucker’s work, one of my on-going interests. In one of SMR International’s Special Reports, Closing the “Digital Divide,” Dealing with Drucker’s “Responsibility Gap” in Africa, I looked at Drucker’s call for eliminating that gap and tried to connect the Drucker concept to work being done by IAO.
Now we’re ready to go further. We think there’s a place for a paper – guidelines, if you will – for how companies and organizations build corporate social responsibility into overall management strategy. I’m particularly interested in examples and, as appropriate, quotations from organizational leaders, so this post is basically a request for information. Comment below if you have any thoughts to share, and if you want to contact me privately, that’s easy: firstname.lastname@example.org. Here at SMR International, we look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.