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Corporate Responsibility Profession Lacks Maturity – Report


Sunday, 1st April 2012 at 4:15 pm
Staff Reporter
A US report into Corporate Responsibility as a profession has found that the characteristics that define a mature profession, such as an educational curriculum and a career pipeline, currently are lacking in the corporate responsibility (CR) arena.

Sunday, 1st April 2012
at 4:15 pm
Staff Reporter


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Corporate Responsibility Profession Lacks Maturity – Report
Sunday, 1st April 2012 at 4:15 pm

A US report into Corporate Responsibility as a profession has found that the characteristics that define a mature profession, such as an educational curriculum and a career pipeline, currently are lacking in the corporate responsibility (CR) arena.

The Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CROA) report says among the nine different key findings from the research, it found that that while few of the CR leaders in companies today entered the field deliberately, they have paved the way for a “generation 2.0” of CR practitioners.

“Corporate responsibility as we know it today has only existed for the past few decades,” said BCLC Founder and Executive Director Stephen Jordan.

“While the CR field is more intertwined than ever in smart business strategy, it stands at a critical crossroads in its development into a mature profession.”

BCLC and CROA surveyed various stakeholders, including academics, practitioners and recognized thought leaders for the study.

The majority of survey respondents agreed on the following: 

  • CR remains a nascent profession lacking the distinct set of professional characteristics;
  • The CR field lacks a deliberate career path; and
  • The progress of the corporate responsibility officer (CRO) is continuously evolving.

“Dealing with the tough issues — creating sustained economic growth, preserving resources for future generations, increasing respect for human dignity — requires complex decision making,” says Richard Crespin, executive director of the CROA.

“This report lays out a roadmap for embedding that kind of critical thinking into the leadership curriculum for business people everywhere.”

The report says the CR profession is stuck in a chicken-and-egg conundrum: before employers establish a CR career path, CR needs a de?ned curriculum; before educational institutions invest in a de?ned curriculum, they need to see a clear demand for CR professionals.

It says CROs need to be more engaged in shaping the future of their profession through deliberate, collective action.

One immediate way to contribute is by helping to re?ne the body of knowledge that will help mature the profession and provide the structure educators need to contribute to the pipeline of professionals. 

The study is the first part of a joint effort between BCLC and CROA to codify the field’s roles, skills, and knowledge; explain the current state of practice; and develop a set of recommendations to advance CR as a management discipline.

The study is available on BCLC’s website here: The State of the Corporate Responsibility Profession 



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