EME 444
Global Energy Enterprise

Corporate Social Responsibity


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.

ISO's voluntary standards for social responsibilty in an international setting. explained above and in additional materials
Figure 3.1 — Schematic overview of ISO 26000
Credit: International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved August 2019 from International Organization for Standardization.

To Read Now

Visit the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Read the landing page and watch the short video, "What ISO standards do for you." (transcript of video)

Read the page ISO 26000 - Social Responsibility (transcript of Social Responsibility video) (not required, but watch video if you have 47 seconds!)

On the right-hand side of the ISO 26000 page, click the link below "Preview our standards." Read the first few paragraphs of "Introduction" closely (you can stop at Box 1), and scan the remainder.