Many companies now have well-publicized "Corporate Statements of Social Responsibility," "Codes of Ethics," and even positions with a title such as Ethics Officer. Baron (2010, p. 724) cites two factors contributing to the spread of statements of social responsibility:
- a belief by some firms that they should be accountable for conduct beyond profit maximization, and
- a defensive motivation intended to avoid private politics led by interest groups or to preempt public politics and additional government regulation.
What does this mean, exactly, a "corporate statement of responsibility?" The International Standards Organization (ISO) has set forth a voluntary standard for social responsibility in an international setting. The figure below illustrates the content addressed in the standard, including seven core subjects of social responsibility: organizational governance, human rights, labour practices, the environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues, and community involvement and development.
To Read Now
Read the landing page and watch the short video, "What ISO standards do for you."
Read the page ISO 26000 - Social Responsibility (not required, but watch video if you have 47 seconds!)
At the bottom of the ISO 26000 page, click through to the Online Browsing Platform. Read first few paragraphs of "Introduction" closely (you can stop at Box 1), and scan the remainder.