239112 Corporate social responsibility policy, practice, and implementation: An analysis of global trends

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sara Kennedy, MPH , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Lainie Rutkow, JD, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Since the 1953 publication of Howard R. Bowen's Social Responsibilities of the Businessman, the concept of what it means to be an ethical or responsible business has experienced a great deal of flux, debate, and evolution, with important implications for public health and trade policy. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), also known as Corporate Responsibility, Social Responsibility, or Corporate Citizenship, refers broadly to the practices that corporations and businesses undertake to benefit stakeholders beyond the immediate stockholders or owners. Although there is industry and geographic variation, CSR often entails practices and initiatives that support human rights, the environment, employee welfare, and community development. Whether implemented through a sense of corporate values or as a response to social pressures, it has been found repeatedly that proper implementation of CSR practices can lead to a competitive advantage for any business. With the global rise in popularity of CSR, multiple mechanisms for implementing CSR practices at the company level have been proposed. For-profit and non-profit groups have been established to provide technical assistance about CSR, to monitor businesses' CSR practices, and to educate the public about CSR. Through a rigorous online search, approximately 180 ‘CSR organizations' were systematically identified. Their websites were analyzed to determine their primary purpose and the information and services they provided. Using this information, the authors mapped CSR organizations and identified global trends in definitions of CSR practice and the mechanisms through which organizations attempt to implement CSR.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1)Explain the major tenets and practices that fall within the umbrella term “corporate social responsibility” as they relate to public health 2)Identify differences and similarities in CSR promotion and implementation among for-profit, non-profit and academically affiliated groups 3)Discuss the emergence of global trends in the definition and framing of CSR in the context of trade policy

Keywords: Management and Sustainability, Public Health Movements

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This research constituted my Capstone project during my MPH studies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.