This article by RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor focuses on the increasingly important role for corporate social responsibility (CSR) within society. The article acknowledges a lot of good work resulting from CSR thus far, but as the title suggests Taylor also believes that this could be strengthened further within companies. In particular, Taylor suggests that companies ought to create initiatives that “are so powerful that other organizations—and maybe even the government—should be following [their] lead. That way [they] make a difference not just to the people [they] deal with directly but to the whole of society.” Taylor mentions Unilever and Desso as examples of companies who have done this by seeking to change their business model to align corporate performance with social benefit. While other companies may not be this far down the track, Taylor does offer a few other examples they might follow. These include increased critical engagement with the CSR efforts undertaken by the company, a greater focus on evaluation of these efforts, and sharing their learning with other organizations.
This article is perhaps most notable because it is calling businesses to exercise the same degree of skill and excellence towards CSR performance that they implement in other areas of their business. Those who are interested in thinking more about the relationship between business performance and social responsibility will find this a thought-provoking read.
What changes in either ethos or strategy might companies need to adopt in order to embrace CSR to the extent advocated by Taylor?
What are some of the challenges involved in trying to bring about this type of change?
Source: The GuardianView This Resource