• 2007 CSR UPDATE Where are we and where are we going?

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2007-01)
      To see where we are on CSR and what the future holds, MHC International Ltd (MHCi) organised an end of year 2006 examination of CSR. Key experts from the UK were invited as well as a number of industry representatives. The need for such a review was stimulated by seeing that CSR is both everywhere and nowhere at the same time. For instance, physician the media tend to say that CSR is everything a company or institution does that is philanthropic, will reduce global warming or will result in ethical purchases. The issue is much wider as we have argued in our sequence of Monthly Features.
    • Alternative View of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Dialogue with the Financial Times

      Hopkins, Michael; Henderson, David (MHC International, 2001-05)
      On May 16th,2001,Martin Wolf of the Financial Times wrote a provocative article criticising CSR since he argued, based on a pamphlet by David Henderson former Chief Economist of the OECD, that social responsibility distorts the market by deflecting business from its primary role of profit generation (see Martin Wolf in www.ft.com). What follows is a summary of a dialogue between Wolf and Hopkins that followed publication of Wolf's article "Sleepwalking with the enemy: Corporate social responsibility distorts the market by deflecting business from its primary role of profit generation". Needless to say, as the dialogue shows, MHCi disagrees.
    • Big Picture of corporate social responsibility

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2000-07)
      After the riots at the WTO conference in Seattle, the confrontations at the IMF/World Bank, and the demonstrations in London that defaced the sculpture of Winston Churchill; the world is waking up to the fact that the worldwide problems of poverty, indebtedness, child labour, pollution and corruption are still with us. The attention has been focussed upon the publicly financed international organisations yet many are also wondering about the role of the large multi-national organisations and the private sector in general. It is known, through books such as David Korten's When Corporations Ruled the World that many large companies have sales larger than the GDP of countries such as Holland - it is worth mentioning that sales should not be equated with GDP which is, essentially, sales less costs of value added. But the point remains, the private sector, and large corporations in particular, are expected to pull their weight.
    • Companies Should Abandon philanthropy and Concentrate on CSR

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2004-04)
      CSR is a system-wide concept that touches all the stakeholders of a corporation - see our earlier monthly features on definitions and concepts [or look at glossary ].
    • Corporate Social Responsibility and Finance: Forging a path ahead?

      Roche, Julian; Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2004-01)
      If there is any sector of the economy more in need of a proper sense of corporate social responsibility than financial services, for sale it's hard to imagine. A succession of governance scandals has followed successive poor financial service advice, store repeated concerns about pay levels and agency problems in private equity companies, the usual short-term thinking from stockbrokers, obsession with shareholder value in companies at the expense of wider stakeholder concerns by fund managers and a host of other CSR issues particularly relevant to the financial services industry. Quietly lurking in the background is the unsaid supposition that financial services companies are not playing as prominent a role in the development of corporate social responsibility as they might. Governments worldwide are concerned, even the overly business friendly Bush administration is making some halting steps.
    • Corporate Social Responsibility and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Revisited

      Hopkins, Ivor (MHC International, 2004-02)
      In this article I comment upon a huge inflow of articles that stemmed from a recent three week e-conference organised by the World Bank Institute (WBI) where the author was one of the moderators. I am brought up in an enterprising family and our factory closed down because we tried to be responsible and ethical. In my view the small enterprises are too small to be able to effect the larger environment and have to take it as it is
    • Corporate Social Responsibility and Some Labour Issues

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2003-01)
      Labour issues are much wider than purely human resource concerns as they step into global development issues. This feature looks at the ILO’s Core Labour Standards and how they have been used as a foundation for CSR application by the Global Reporting Initiative, by the Ethical Trading Initiative, by the EU and by the UN Global Compact. Following a brief examination of each, one can ask whether companies should really bother about any of these. And should you?
    • Corporate Social Responsibility in Small and Medium Sized Businesses

      Hopkins, Ivor (MHC International, 2001-02)
      Corporate Social Responsibility is primarily regarded as the province of large corporations who not only have deep pockets and legions of staff, but who also have the collective guts to do something. Companies like Shell, BT and The Body Shop have famously burnished their corporate reputations and gained marketing kudos whilst doing their bit for our planet: they have the size, depth and reach to make a difference. But what about the large number of small or medium sized enterprises, whose depth is measured by a multi tasking MD and whose reach is more likely to be local than national?
    • Corporate Social Responsibility, generic Development and the Tsunami

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2005-01)
      The devastation and misery caused by the sudden, massive inundations of the Indian Ocean Tsunami have touched us all and millions of people around the world have spontaneously made huge donations in order to make immediate relief possible.
    • CSR and Conflict

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2012-08)
      Business continues even in regions of conflict. But what does corporate social responsibility really mean under conflict conditions? How can business not make the situation worse and how far can private enterprise go in actively building peace?
    • CSR AND DEVELOPMENT PART II: THE FORTUNE TO BE GAINED BY CSR June 2005

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2005-06)
      MHC International Ltd (MHCi) is looking at the role of CSR in the social and economic development of developing countries. This, the second part of a four part article, is based upon the author's forthcoming book on the subject. The first part can be read from our website Corporate Social Responsibility and Development Part I where we looked at Prahalad's celebrated work on business and development in the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Briefly, I found his ideas wanting because of the lack of attention to all stakeholders (particularly the demand side stakeholders). Below, I explore whether the notion of CSR could be a better concept with which to engage corporations in economic development.
    • CSR AND DEVELOPMENT PART III: WHAT CAN COMPANIES DO?

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2005-09)
      MHC International Ltd (MHCi) is looking at the role of CSR in the social and economic development of developing countries. This, the third part of a four part article, is based upon the author's forthcoming book on the subject. The first two parts can be read from our website www.mhcinternational.com where we looked at Prahalad's celebrated work on business and development in the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. In Part I, I described how I found his ideas wanting because of the lack of attention to all stakeholders (particularly the demand side stakeholders). In the second part I explored whether the notion of CSR could be a better concept with which to engage corporations in economic development. Here I look at what corporations could do in the development arena. In Part IV I shall look at how the UN has been promoting business involvement in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
    • CSR and Development: The Fortune to be Gained by CSR - Part I

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2005-03)
      MHCi started looking at the role of CSR in the social and economic development of developing countries in 2005. This article is based upon a chapter in the author's book on the subject. - CSR and International Development (2007). This first feature first looks at Prahalad's celebrated work on the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Briefly, cure the feature finds Prahalad's ideas wanting. The author then wonders whether the notion of CSR could be a better concept in which to engage corporations in economic development, click this is looked at in Part II. Parts II-IV are to come, thumb with Part IV having had to wait until September 2010!!
    • CSR and Global Business Principles: What a Mess!

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2002-09)
      This paper briefly reviews the hundreds of codes of conduct and principles around the world. It concludes that these codes are proliferating but rarely, clinic if ever, situate themselves within what has happened before and why the new code is different or advances on previous ones. Few, if any, have a theoretical basis for their codes and many simply cover just one or at most two stakeholders. There is a serious need of rationalization if companies are not to become even more confused about what is expected of them than is the case now.
    • CSR and Population

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2010-11)
      Corporations have embraced the call of ‘sustainability’ leaving its earlier manifestation as CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) aside to some extent. The differences between the two concepts have been covered by the author elsewhere4. But, there is still a wide spread feeling that POPULATION is the problem – from poverty to climate change to lack of food to congestion to pollution, perhaps even the current recession?
    • CSR and The Arms Trade

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2007-10)
      Can CSR contribute to reducing the spiraling Military Industrial Complex - Michael Hopkins thinks it can.
    • CSR and the Beautiful Game

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2003-10)
      As well as providing its clients with an overall approach to CSR, MHCi has shown how the CSR concept can be applied in many disciplines. To this end MHCi runs a series of CSR Masterclasses where participants interact closely with CSR and the discipline specialists. Recently, in London, MHCi ran a masterclass linking CSR to the wider issue of sport and this is what we report on in this article.
    • CSR and the Property Market - Urgent Changes Required

      Roche, Julian (MHC International, 2009-06)
      Companies that are primarily engaged in real estate activities - principally developing and owning commercial and residential property - have just as many corporate responsibilities as manufacturers or retailers. While construction and maintenance should certainly be seen as the corporate responsibility of the construction company, the consumer (renter or owner) should not ignore the workplace conditions of products they buy.
    • CSR and the world cup

      Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2002-04)
      Scandal after scandal seem to chase after major sporting events and it appears that little is being done to reduce these. FIFA is embroiled in a scandal at the top with accusations flying about payoffs and loose accounting practices.
    • CSR in Recessionary Times

      Hopkins, Ivor; Hopkins, Michael (MHC International, 2002-01)
      Whether the world is hurrying towards recession, is currently in a recession or is perceived to be in recession following the cataclysmic events of recent history, is a moot point. What is certain is that the profits of major companies will be much lower in 2002 than they were in the year before. So, when corporate leaders reach for the axe in their tool chest, what does this imply for the fledgling area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? Should CSR also be cut until the good times roll back in again?