Academic journal article Business Renaissance Quarterly

Measuring the Effectiveness of Corporate Social Responsibility Practices and Processes: A Framework for Assessing, Monitoring and Improving CSR Programs, Practices, Processes and Evaluation

Academic journal article Business Renaissance Quarterly

Measuring the Effectiveness of Corporate Social Responsibility Practices and Processes: A Framework for Assessing, Monitoring and Improving CSR Programs, Practices, Processes and Evaluation

Article excerpt

Abstract

Whereas some companies have built comprehensive CSR systems, others have introduced only single CSR elements. Nearly all companies ask themselves whether they operate sufficiently close to the optimum with their CSR strategy. This paper presents a process for monitoring and evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy, which allows companies to characterize their CSR position and to systematically optimize their cost-benefit position in the wide range of CSR implementations. A seven step CSR Strategy review process leads to a profound understanding of a company's CSR position and indicates gaps between the status quo and an optimized use of tailor-made CSR management. The process facilitates organizational change and dramatic performance improvement through use of best practices, customer focus and external, value-added perspectives.

Introduction

With the introduction of a CSR strategy a company declares its willingness to contribute only on the financial bottom line but also in view of social and environmental aspects, which have before ranged under externalized benefits or detriments and have therefore not been under management scrutiny.

Managers are constantly confronted with the question, where CSR involvement ends, where it begins and how to optimize the benefit by at the same time avoid added bureaucracy and cost.

Continuous Improvement is defined as a measurement process that facilitates and enables organizational change and dramatic performance improvement through use of best practices, customer focus and external value-added perspectives. SRO concentrates on quality management processes and is based on evaluating seven critical factors; leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resources focus, process management and business results. CSR Continuous Improvement Framework

The CSR continuous improvement process consists of 6 phases:

1. Scanning-Identifying broad, early signals of internal and external environmental trends or changes.

2. MonitoringDetecting meaning or the significance of changes in observable social, operational and performance indicators, trends or patterns.

3. Forecastingis the process of predicting future events. This stage involves the development and projection of anticipated outcomes based on-going observation derived from monitoring significant operational or social trends or indicators.

5. Assessing-Evaluating the relative significance or importance and potential impact based on an analysis of current or projected changes in relevant indicators and trends

6. Targeting-Identifying operational/performance/ functional areas within that require significant improvement and assessing magnitude of deviation from established standards

7. Remediating-Developing corrective action plans, implementing these plans and evaluating results/actual improvement.

Phase 1: Scanning

Core Concept ö Definition

The purpose of scanning is to alert the organization, board of directors and senior managers to issues or situations that can have a significant impact on the effectiveness and/or quality of management, operational and social responsibility issues and practices. Scanning serves a preventative function. By identifying early warning signals, managers will have as much time as possible to determine appropriate alternative courses of action. Scanning is a first step towards exploring and identifying opportunities to improve management practices, programs, compliance with policy, and processes. Scanning surfaces early warning signals alerting managers, units and departments about important trends and events that could have either a positive or negative impact on employees and on the organization. Scanning is the first phase of the management improvement process. Scanning is defined simply as Scanning-Identifying broad, early signals of strategic, social, performance and operational trends or changes. …

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