CSR checklist proposed by UK academic at public lecture

3 April 2014

As Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) matures and develops, a leading academic has proposed a checklist for communicators to use when reviewing the validity of CSR strategies.

The checklist will be launched in Australia at a public lecture to be held at Macquarie University on Thursday April 10.

“The historic reason for CSR activities being developed by organisations was recognition of their role in society,” said Professor Tom Watson. “From the 1950s onwards, forward-looking businesses accepted that their purpose was not only to make a profit but did so in order to improve society.”

Australian-born Watson, from Bournemouth University in England, said that CSR has increasingly drifted from its moral and ethical base and is now often used as a marketing ploy with little relationship to “doing good”.

“It’s becoming another form of ‘greenwashing’ where a patina of social engagement is wrapped around product and service marketing,” he said. “Even the graphic symbols of CSR frequently show the world being saved, which is a gross over-statement.”

In his 10-point checklist, Watson calls on communicators and executives to ensure that motives for CSR are clear and honourable; that policies and activities are created by consultation; that there is a commitment to CSR, not just a short-term advantage; and resources are in place, along with governance,  to make sure policies stay on track.

“CSR, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability are valuable concepts and actions that bring business closer to society. I hope the checklist will aid formation of CSR actions that benefit everyone – management, employees and communities,” he concluded.

This free public lecture will be presented by The Centre for Media History and the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies.

It is supported by Macquarie University’s Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) program and the Public Relations Institute of Australia.

10th April 2014 | 6.30 PM | Y3A T1 Theatre | Macquarie University
Event RSVP: karina.marlow@mq.edu.au

Filed under: Events Faculty of Arts

Professor Tom Watson will speak on corporate social responsibility at an upcoming public lecture.

Professor Tom Watson will speak on corporate social responsibility at an upcoming public lecture.

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