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What Is Social Responsibility? Why Is It Important? (On-line Only version)

Summary: The International Standards Organization (ISO) has launched its Working Group on Social Responsibility to develop ISO 26000, a guidance-based standard. Eighty countries and 39 organizations worldwide now participate in the effort. Publication of the standards is scheduled for late 2010, following a consensus-building process. Despite these efforts and a growing public awareness of the subject, there is much debate on what actually constitutes social responsibility and how organizations should approach the subject. The goal of ISO 26000 is to provide an internationally acceptable definition of what social responsibility really means and to help organizations adapt their cultures to interact with the world at large. The online extension of this article describes Baldrige criteria addressing the promotion of social responsibility by senior executives and provides links to samples of some organizations’ policies on social responsibility.

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  • Topics: Social Responsibility
  • Keywords: Organizational culture, Ethics, Human relations, International Standards Organization (ISO), Standards and specifications
  • Author: Hopen, Deborah
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation