ABC of the main instruments of CSR

(EU Employment & social affairs, to be downloaded)

Linked with Investment agreements & CSR, and with Trade & CSR.

Published by European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs, Unit D.1.

Industrial relations and Industrial Change, Manuscript completed in 2004, 64 pages.

Excerpt of page 29: … The Q-RES project, management framework for the ethical and social responsibility of corporations, Italy:

The Q-RES project, launched in 2000 by CELE, the Centre for Ethics, Law & Economics of the LIUC University in Italy, aims to create a management framework for the ethical and social responsibility (RES) of corporations, externally certifiable.

Several Italian leading companies in different industrial sectors, professional associations (e.g. Association of Internal Auditors), accountancy firms and business organisations (e.g. Sodalitas), participate in the project. At international level, a link has been established with the SIGMA project (see above).

The Q-RES model consists of an integrated and complete set of tools to introduce ethics into corporations along with defining excellence criteria in the management of social and ethical responsibility, taking into consideration emerging international standards and current best practice. The Q-RES management model includes six building elements for managing the social and ethical quality of corporations:

  • 1. Corporate ethical vision: The corporate ethical vision defines and makes explicit the concept of justice within a company, from which arises the criterion to balance stakeholders’ claims. On this concept of justice is founded the responsible behaviour that the company has to set and follow in its relations with stakeholders.
  • 2. Code of ethics: Corporate codes of ethics are the main tools to implement social and ethical responsibility in the context of a business organisation. Their function goes beyond the role of the legal system, which guarantees the company’s hierarchical structure and defines its limits through legal protection of ownership and civil and economic rights.
  • 3. Ethical training and communication: Ethical training in a company is directed to the company employees and aims at enabling each company member to apply moral reasoning tools to discuss and tackle ethical questions connected with corporate activities.
  • 4. Organisational systems of implementation and internal control: Organisational systems of implementation and monitoring are the ethical infrastructure which is needed to support an effective implementation of corporate social and ethical responsibility.
  • 5. Social and ethical accountability: The process of social and ethical accountability aims at enlarging the perspective of corporate social communications from relations between the company and shareholders to relations between the company and all its stakeholders, in the social contract perspective.
  • 6. External verification: Verification by a third party provides trustworthiness to the company’s declarations concerning its commitments on social and ethical responsibility (The Q-RES-Project).

(full text).

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