Employees exert most influence on responsible practiceMarch 2008
Pressure from employees is the most significant influence on corporate responsibility in companies, a survey reports.
A poll of 150 US and British CSR practitioners, mainly working within companies, found that a third felt employees were exerting a ‘large degree of pressure’ on their organization to behave in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, more than any other stakeholder group.
Non-governmental organizations were thought by practitioners in the two countries to be the next most influential overall, followed by customers, competitor companies and the media, with shareholders seen as the weakest driving force.
However, there were some differences between the UK and the US, where practitioners saw shareholders as more of a force, and the British felt more pressure from the government (see graph right).
The newly formed Corporate Citizenship consultancy, which conducted the online survey, said one implication of employees’ strong influence could be that companies without responsible business programmes may find staff retention more difficult. ‘The most mobile employees – by definition the most talented – might well move on if they are unhappy about a company’s track record on social and environmental issues,’ it said.
More generally, businesses see climate change as the major challenge, while activists are more concerned about poverty and social inequality.
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