CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY- A BUSINESS REFORM
The feature ‘Responsible Business- The New Normal?’ throws a light on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The authors Jonas Haertle and Asger Kongstad concentrates on the environmental, social and governance issues and its deep impact on the financial bottom line of the companies. Corporate responsibility marks a company’s reputation and add to its financial, social and ethical value. The surveys like Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013 reflects same views. A large percent of the companies include sustainability issues a part of their agenda. In fact the companies are in their baby steps to seriously implant the sustainability principles into action, as they are concentrating to document or solidifying them by making these agendas as their policies. These humble beginnings from companies across the world form foundations for future sustainability actions in the corporate world. When companies engage in current challenges across the world like global poverty or child labour, they are making the world better.
Corporate Social Responsibility creates positive impact for the people in the workplace. Several behavioural approaches in change management theories substantiate this belief. According to Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning (1928), intended results are achieved by factors which enhance positive motivation among the crew members. When the workers realise that their company is socially responsible, it helps the workers feel themselves responsible for the same. Hence its acts like a boomerang. Sadly the companies which have realised the importance of the CSR activities represent only a small fraction. There is a long way to go for the small and middle sized companies to understand this concept and put CSR into practice. Statistics show that companies are focussing on implementing policies to alleviate labour discrimination at the workplace and thus ensure equal opportunity and chances. The recognition of such ESG issues by the business community ignites and drives the corporate responsibility agendas.
A company’s performance relies greatly on its attention towards CSR activities. Every company, whether it is large or SME, should have transparent interactions with their workforce. Initiatives like human rights complaint mechanism, labour policy disclose and monitoring environmental performance etc… needs to be emphasized in all firms irrespective of how big or small the company is. But the factor which drags SMEs in implementation of these activities are the lack of financial resources for the same. Also the lack of awareness accounts for more than thirty percent of the top impediments for SMEs in implementing these initiatives. Adding to it, there should be a clear cut methods to make sure that once these sustainability actions are enforced, are also maintained and stays on track. For this, setups like Global Compact Local Networks helps. Such local bodies should be present in all countries to ensure the sustainability practices are well followed. Additionally, companies can also create adequate regulatory framework within the workforce to have active thoughtfulness on their issues. However in line with that the managements can also focus in building active relationships with other successful conglomerates to learn and deploy their best practises. Business schools, too, play a crucial role in embedding business responsibilities and thought-leadership.