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Topics: Stakeholder Management, Strategy, Sustainability
Values and Attitudes Toward Social and Environmental Accountability
Efforts to promote corporate social and environmental accountability (SEA) should be informed by an understanding of stakeholders’ attitudes toward enhanced accountability standards. However, little is known about current attitudes on this subject or the determinants of these attitudes. To address this issue, Fukukawa, K., Shafer, W. E., & Lee, G. M. (2007) examined the relationship between personal values and support for social and environmental accountability for a sample of experienced MBA students. Exploratory factor analysis of the items comprising our measure of support for SEA revealed two distinct factors:

(1) Endorsement of the general proposition that corporations and executives should be held accountable for the social and environmental impacts of their actions

(2) Agreement that the government should adopt and enforce formal SEA standards

Their findings indicated that the universalism value type is positively associated with general support for SEA, but not with support for government enforcement of accountability standards. In addition, they found that gender has a significant impact on support for government enforcement of SEA standards.

Where do you stand on endorsing the general proposition that corporations and executives should be held accountable for the social and environmental impacts of their actions?

Should the government adopt and enforce formal SEA standards?

How have your organization values and attitudes toward social and environmental accountability?

Fukukawa, K., Shafer, W. E., & Lee, G. M. (2007). Values and attitudes toward social and environmental accountability: A study of MBA students. Journal of business ethics, 71(4), 381-394.
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Yes, We are doing our best whatever possible within our reach.
I response to your question 1) accountable to whom? Executives are currently accountable to the shareholders for their decisions and actions as these impact the success of the company. In my mind SEA is a factor in corporate success whether its to enhance employees towards better service or customers to buy into the corporation. With regards to question 2) governments should be careful with imposed standards as i) difficulty and cost to enforce such standards, and ii) sets up an adversarial relationship. Additionally, I'm not convinced that governments can establish reasonable standards and management thereof would become bureaucratic and unsustainable (as do most government initiatives).

Bottom line: SEA should be adopted as a "good business practice", rather than government imposed.
John -

Government regulations should be a "least common denominator" principles-based safety net to discourage companies' leadership teams from engaging in poor SE behavior. Anything more than that runs the risk of protests and pushback similar to what was seen around the world with COVID-19 mandates.

Smart leadership teams will recognize that committing to SEA is a competitive advantage and will achieve compliance at a much higher level than that set by governments.

Kiron
Why stop at corporation and executive: I think each one of us should be accountable for the social and environmental impacts of our actions.

As for governments' adoption and enforcement of SEA standards, it depends on each government. I cannot imagine a libertarian government, like the U.S.'s, choosing to enforce SEA for the good of the collectivity over the rights of the individuals.

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