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Friday, April 6, 2018

Strategic CSR - Stakeholder expectations

The article in the url below contains some interesting statistics on the extent to which businesses are internalizing and responding to evolving societal concerns:
"On politics, business leaders are risk-averse. They prioritize stability and the status quo. What has changed is the definition of the status quo. Gay and transgender rights, and action on climate change, were once liberal causes. They are now largely mainstream, particularly in big cities that are home to corporate head offices and the educated workers they covet. Businesses have adapted their own plans, policies and attitudes to this new mainstream."
As society evolves, companies need to evolve with them. Those companies that evolve most effectively (a combination of speed and content) will be more successful:
"This changes [CEOs'] cost-benefit calculus: Speak up and embroil yourself in unwelcome controversy, or stay silent and invite the opprobrium of customers, employees, social media and, for some, their own families and consciences. Increasingly, they have concluded that inaction is the riskier path."
What does this shift look like in terms of concrete policies and practices?
"Half of Fortune 500 companies provide transgender inclusive health benefits—up from none in 2002—and 61% offer domestic-partner benefits to gay couples, according to the Human Rights Campaign. … Similarly, nearly half the Fortune 500 has some sort of internal target for greenhouse-gas emissions, renewable energy or efficiency, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project."
Firms reflect the collective set of values held by key stakeholders. As such, they will do what their stakeholders hold them accountable for. To continue down this path, therefore, stakeholders need to be sure to reward those companies that match the values they want to see businesses adopt and punish those firms that transgress those values.
Have a good weekend
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For Business, a New Political Status Quo
By Greg Ip
August 17, 2017
The Wall Street Journal
Late Edition – Final