Transformational CSR Leadership: “Triple Transformation” for Best Practice

A version of this post appeared in CSRWire Talkback.

We often hear about transformational leaders in popular media. These individuals are supposed to be larger than life, provoking and implementing deep-seated changes in established systems. But this way of thinking about leaders and transformations ignores several key issues, especially in the context of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

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Review Essay: Four Books on CSR

review

I wrote an extended review essay for Organization on four recent books about corporate social responsibility. The books are:

Managing Corporate Social Responsibility: A Communication Approach, W. T. Coombs and S. J. Holladay. Chichester: Wiley, 2011. 200 pp. £23.50. ISBN 9781444336450

Stakeholders Matter: A New Paradigm for Strategy in Society, S. Sachs and E. Rühli. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 296 pp. £55.00. ISBN 9780521196390

Global Perspectives on Corporate Governance and CSR, G. Aras and D. Crowther (eds). Farnham: Gower Publishing Ltd, 2009. 364 pp. £70.00. ISBN 9780566088308

The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility, O. Ihlen, J. Bartlett and S. May (eds). Chichester: Wiley, 2011. 608 pp. £110.00. IBSN 9781444336344

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Where’s the Leadership in CSR?

This post also appeared in CSRWire Talkback.

lead

One of the projects I’m currently working on examines the role of leadership in corporate social responsibility. The first thing that struck me while going through all the available CSR material was how little it had to say on leadership, compared to (say) stakeholdersthe “business case” or even global/local adaptations. Oh, we throw the term “leadership” around a lot when we talk about “leading corporate citizens” or visionary CEOs (and the not-so visionary ones, à la BP’s Tony Hayward), but few practitioners and scholars actually think about the leadership concept.

So why does it make sense to think about leadership in CSR?

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The 5-Step Primer: Culture, CSR, and Globalization

This post also appeared in CSRWire Talkback.

steps

What then would a glocal approach to CSR entail? Here’s a 5-step primer:

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Culture, CSR, and Globalization?

This post also appeared in CSRWire Talkback.

global

The thought that culture presents yet another challenge to formulating global best practices of corporate social responsibility is likely to come as an “uh-oh” moment for several CSR practitioners and activists, especially those active at the global/international level. In our quest to hold companies from across the world accountable to a set of basic responsibilities, we may have glossed over some key problems: how to decide which measures to use, actual validity of the chosen standards, preoccupation with outcomes rather than processes, overall lack of regulatory bite, etc. Throw cultural variance into this mix, and you are liable to hear a deafening roar of protests: no more tinkering with ‘best practices’!

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