A Kaleidoscope of Corporate Responsibility on a Page

The front page of last week’s Washington Post is an executive tour of the landscape of issues in the world of trust and corporate responsibility. Three of the four headline stories cover issues that are directly relevant to our field.

“Regimes’ Web tool made in the USA” describes the apparent discovery that equipment made by Blue Coat – a leading provider of Web security and management (a company that I’ve blogged about previously ) has been used by autocratic states to censor web sites and monitor the communications of dissidents. Similarly to  how companies are increasingly held accountable for activities …

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Serving the Corporate Responsibility Profession

Back in April 2009, I was a founding member of the governing board of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association.  In a short post I wrote at the time I noted my aspiration “that one of the things the CROA will be able to contribute to will be increasing the structure and recognition of the role and in so doing, will enhance the professional standing of practitioners.”  In fact I made such a big thing of this at the governing board meetings that I was asked to set up a new committee of the association to address exactly this. (What I …

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The Competencies Required for Sustainability – Three Perspectives

Last week I proposed that sustainability is analogous to economics.  The thought was triggered during the GreenGov panel that I was moderating. The panel represented the full gamut of professional organizations in the field; Ira Feldman on the board of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), Valerie Patrick on the board of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO),  Teri Yosie has recently completed a collaboration with  Net Impact,  and myself on the board of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CROA).

The ISSP, CROA and NetImpact have all recently taken a look at the competencies required by …

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Making our job into a profession

I joined the governing board of the newly established Corporate Responsibility Officers Association almost two years ago because I have a strong interest in exploring, and hopefully more firmly establishing the role of the practitioner.  We created a committee for professional development with colleagues from Capaccio, Cisco, Crowe Horwath, Hess Oil, Molson Coors and Shared Expertise, which I have been chairing. With the help of an extended list of supportive members we explored the components that make up a profession and determined that we would focus initially on three areas (1) job descriptions (2) competencies and (3) an ethics code

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A Look Back at CSR in 2010

At the beginning of 2010 (feels like last week doesn’t it ), I wrote a post on what I thought I would be writing about during the year.  I just reviewed it. My performance against my anticipated topics was mixed!

Regaining Trust – I focused on this in the early part of the year, helped by the opportunity I had to deliver the keynote at the PR News CSR awards, where trust and authenticity were my main theme. It is interesting to observe the ebb and flow of public interest in the theme. However, although I think trust as …

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Guest Post: A Gaggle of Privacy Concerns -When Truth Conflicts with Loyalty

Originally posted on the CROA blog.

By Richard Crespin


As Kevin Moss mentioned in his earlier post, the CROA’s Professional Development Committee drafted an ethics code and came up with a set of ethical dilemmas to test it.  In this post we layout the overall concept of ethical dilemmas and propose the first dilemma for you — our field testers — to consider.

Ethical Dilemmas:  Four Classics

In his book, How Good People Make Tough Choices, Rushworth Kidder defined an ethical dilemma as a right vs. right choice.  Morals or laws govern right vs. wrong.  We use ethics …

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Corporate Responsibility Officers Need an Ethics Code!

I posted this on the blog of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association on October 4, 2010

Doctors have an ethics code. PR professionals, accountants, lawyers, ombudsman, engineers and ethics officers all have ethics codes.  In many ways, a well crafted ethics code defines a profession; it gives guidance to its practitioners to support the most taxing judgment calls they will have to make and articulates its defining values to those outside the profession.

Deciding between what is right and wrong can sometimes be difficult. Corporate Responsibility practitioners often have to go further and decide between two rights.  We also have …

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