In a recent meeting of Center members held at Boston College conversation inevitably turned to “it.”
“What do you call it?”
“How much is its budget?”
“Does it have a senior position?”
“Who does it report into?”
“How are you managing it?”
What is it? “It” is the management of environmental, social, and governance efforts in a corporation. At the Center we call it corporate citizenship but not all companies do. Just to give a few examples from our 2010 Profile of the Practice report: Managing corporate citizenship as a business strategy, 25 percent of companies called it corporate social responsibility, 20 percent corporate citizenship, 14 percent corporate responsibility, and 8 percent sustainability. Perhaps more importantly than what it is called, is the question of how corporate citizenship is being managed to deliver the greatest impact to society and the business. Research for the Center’s next Profile of the Practice report will soon be under way to again examine this topic. Previous research from 2008 and 2010 revealed an increase in:
- Senior-level positions leading corporate citizenship (from 27 percent in 2008 to 44 percent in 2010)
- Executive-level corporate citizenship councils (18 percent in 2008 to 31 percent in 2010)
- Corporate citizenship board committees (15 percent in 2008 to 30 percent in 2010)
Prior research has also revealed a decrease in internal training programs on corporate citizenship for employees and no movement from 2008 to 2010 on better informing employees and board members on corporate citizenship efforts. All of these management practices contribute to the success, or lack thereof, of a company’s corporate citizenship efforts. We expect the next edition of this research will shed even more light on these practices and how they may contribute to the success of a company’s corporate citizenship efforts.
The Center is about to begin data collection for the Profile of the Practice and we ask all member companies to please participate when they receive the 15- to 20-minute online survey. If you are not a member company of the Center but would like to be included in this research, please contact Karen Hoff.