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SHRM Study: U.S. Organizations Less Likely To Have Formal CSR Policies

More than four out of five organizations in seven countries are participating in corporate social responsibility practices, ranging from donating to local charities to monitoring global fair labor standards, according to The Society for Human Resource Management. The study (available for members only), titled 2007 Corporate Social Responsibility: A Pilot Study, surveyed human resource professionals in the U.S., China, India, Mexico, Brazil Australia and Canada.

Among the findings, HR professionals in Brazil, India, Mexico and Australia were more likely than those from the U.S. to report that their organizations had formal CSR policies. Brazilian organizations reported the highest participation rate in CSR practices at 95 percent, compared with the U.S. at 91 percent.

In the U.S., HR professionals cited contributions to society, public relations strategies and employee activism as top drivers. CSR practices are also seen as important to employee loyalty, morale, retention, recruitment and productivity, all of which are key responsibilities of HR professionals.

Other findings included the following:

  • The majority of organizations that currently do not have CSR policies have no plans to create them.
  • Employees in Brazil and India are encouraged to spearhead volunteer programs, with the U.S. and Australia lagging in this category.
  • China has the lowest percentage for encouraging employees to spearhead CSR programs and Chinese respondents reported the lowest rate of participation in CSR practices and in engaging employees in CSR programs.
  • Over half of the organizations surveyed recognize employee participation in volunteer programs, with the U.S. leading at 72 percent.
  • In the U.S., Brazil, Australia and Canada, the main obstacles to CSR programs were reported to be cost, unproven benefits and lack of support from senior management.
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