THE SHIFT IN THINKING- CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND CITIZENSHIP
In the new business management model, corporate responsibility and citizenship like quality are integrated into the way people do their jobs. The new management model looks outward as well as inward. it recognizes that customers are more than the people who buy products and services, and that all customers need to be satisfied if the company is to have long-term success.
The parallels between changing a corporate culture to make public responsibility and citizenship part of everyone's job, and changing it to make quality part of everyone's job, are striking:
- Both require leadership's commitment. 3M, USAA, and IMC stand as models of citizenship because their leaders clearly communicate its importance by encouraging involvement and by getting involved themselves.
- Both demand employee involvement. The opportunities for protecting the environment and acting ethically present themselves to individuals and teams in the course of their work. The opportunities for serving their communities are less evident but equally compelling. Employees must be empowered to recognize and respond to these opportunities.
Both need clear direction. The more explicit the expectations for conducting business ethically, protecting the public health and safety and the environment, and serving the community, the more focused the response will be. Leaders in this area establish values and policies for corporate responsibility and citizenship, develop objectives that act on their values, and measure their progress.
• Both must be managed and measured. To assume-that, left alone, people will act responsibly and ethically and will serve unselfishly is tantamount to assuming that, left alone, people will improve quality. Measures need to be established and processes managed for corporate responsibility and citizenship to take root and grow.
The new management model looks outward as well as inward. it recognizes that customers are more than the people who buy products and services, and that all customers need to be satisfied if the company is to have long-term success. Companies that approach this responsibility with open minds often discover that active corporate responsibility and citizenship make good business strategy.