FIT Sponsorship
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Corporate Engagement, Good Business

Responsible Leadership: the Foundation for CSR


Tuesday, 22nd January 2013 at 4:54 pm
Staff Reporter
In the lead up to ACCSR’s Annual Conference, Soraya Dean from ACCSR, spoke with Professor David Allen, management academic and strategy expert, about the perils of responsible leadership and delivering value through CSR.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2013
at 4:54 pm
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Responsible Leadership: the Foundation for CSR
Tuesday, 22nd January 2013 at 4:54 pm

BLOG: In the lead up to ACCSR’s Annual Conference, Soraya Dean from ACCSR, spoke with Professor David Allen, management academic and strategy expert, about the perils of responsible leadership and delivering value through CSR. This was originally published on the ACCSR Blog.

Ongoing financial crises and institutional scandals have highlighted the role (and in some cases, absence) of ethical behaviour in leadership. Some telling examples from the last year include the BBC, Barclays Bank  and (closer to home) the Health Services Union.

As an academic, business consultant and entrepreneur, Professor David Allen has strong views on how these two issues can inform contemporary business practice.

“Broadly speaking, responsible leadership rests on taking decisions only after you have looked carefully at the impact on all stakeholders and feel that you have done the best you can to assure that sustainable value is created and that the outcomes are fair.”

The Dean of the Business, Economics and Law faculty at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom is a leading thinker on corporate social strategy. His book, Corporate Social Strategy: Stakeholder Engagement & Competitive Advantage (2010) co-authored with Bryan Husted, examines corporate social action through the lens of economic and social value creation. It debunks the commonly held view that social action and profit are mutually exclusive, providing insights for how practitioners can implement corporate social responsibility programs (CSR).

“Responsible leadership is central to unlocking value from CSR initiatives – just as it is in all corporate activities,” he says.

“Creating value through social initiatives was the focus of my decade of work with Bryan Husted…One of our key messages was that strategic CSR must be managed with the same rigour and commitment given to all vital corporate activities.”

Appearing in Melbourne next month for ACCSR’s Annual Conference, Allen will deliver the keynote address about the tough challenges of responsible leadership that confront business leaders and practitioners.

“Responsible leadership begins with a clear commitment to tell your own direct reports the truth about the firm’s performance and their performance. When business is profitable and growing, we tend to paper over failings and concentrate on the upside,” he says.

“But when the business environment weakens and profits lag, we suddenly have to look closely at who we are and what we do well and not so well. This is hard work, and sometimes painful. We have close relationships with the people who work with us; we like them. Providing them with support and guidance in hard times is a challenge. It is only then we see that we didn’t do the job we needed to do in the good times.

Responsible leadership is about commitment to truth and fairness and working at it – in good times and hard times.”

Ultimately, Allen is optimistic about the ability of CSR to deliver positive social impacts and drive greater performance.

“There are no specific barriers to using CSR strategies to create value,” he explains, going on to distinguish between two alternative forms of CSR.

“Again, in my research with Bryan, we found that firms were more likely to seek competitive advantage and value creation via CSR when more traditional strategies were less likely to differentiate the firm. Firms with strong, sustainable profits were more likely to engage in philanthropic CSR. Both approaches are absolutely legitimate, and firms may decide to do both kinds of CSR.”

However, he does have a warning for those involved in strategic community partnerships – undertake thorough exit planning.

“Once a firm has launched a strategic CSR program linked to competitive advantage and value creation, deciding to end the program requires additional work. When a product or service is not profitable, a firm can just stop offering it. Ending a product or service tied to a social good entails having a very good explanation why.”

Professor David Allen will present at ACCSR’s Annual Conference on Responsible Leadership.  He will deliver the keynote address, “If everyone is doing CSR, why are we doing so badly?” on February 13th 2013 in Melbourne. 



FEATURED SUPPLIERS


HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

More Suppliers


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Business Leaders Aren’t Backing Up Their Promises on Sustainable Development Goals

Renzo Mori Junior

Monday, 8th January 2018 at 5:36 pm

Australians Express Strong Support for CSR

Luke Michael

Monday, 8th January 2018 at 2:32 pm

One to Watch: Nkosana Mafico

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 14th November 2017 at 8:35 am

Warning to CEOs – CSR May Get You Fired, Study Finds

Lina Caneva

Tuesday, 24th October 2017 at 10:07 am

POPULAR

$110M Package Tackles Anxiety and Depression Among Young Australians

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 9th January 2018 at 8:46 am

Social Enterprise Announces $500,000 Funding for Social and Affordable Housing

Luke Michael

Monday, 15th January 2018 at 11:26 am

Privatisation Poses New Challenges for NFPs Managing Their Workforce

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 9th January 2018 at 4:36 pm

White Ribbon Australia CEO Announces Retirement

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 10th January 2018 at 5:15 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


FIT Sponsorship
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!