Corporate responsibility remains voluntary advantage

Corporate social responsibility reporting is to remain voluntary, but continues to provide a source of competitive advantage through building reputation.

ABC radio today reports that the Federal government committee examining corporate social responsibility has not recommended regulatory approaches to increase the level of reporting from companies. This presents an opportunity for businesses to take a position of self-leadership. There are an increasing number of examples of Australian companies that have increased their voluntary reporting. However, the ABC quotes Latrobe University Professor Carol Adams’ claim that less than a third of companies report on impacts such as pollution.

Participation in voluntary review and rating can provide a significant boost to the reputation of organisations. As with all aspects of reputation, the benefit comes when the commitment and rhetoric from the organization is matched by consistent actions that support the public position.

At the other end of the reputation spectrum, blogger and leadership consultant AJ Schuler writes of the impact of corporate culture as a source of sustainable reutational advantage. He uses the spectacular failure of Enron as an extreme example in this article on his blog.

Links
ABC Report: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s1668827.htm
AJ Schuler Article: http://whatsupdoc-aj.blogspot.com/2006/06/enron-and-corporate-culture.html

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