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CSR Special: Cultural Diversity and CSR Standards

by CKGSB Knowledge

September 5, 2013


While international corporate social responsibility (CSR) platforms have provided companies a list of standards in economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic areas, implementing them in real-life situations can still be a challenge, especially for global companies operating across cultures. Issues between corporations like Apple or Wal-Mart and their Chinese suppliers over working conditions and wages are good examples of the obstacles that crop up in transcultural CSR management.

“Corporate integrity and ethical behaviors go beyond mere compliance with laws and regulations,” said Klaus M. Leisinger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development (NFSD). “Corporate responsibility is about filling the gap between international expectations and laws and local legality.”

So how can companies manage their CSR programs to reflect the core values of those global standards? (See ‘The Seven Core Values of Global CSR Standards‘.)

In Part Two of these two-part series, Leisinger stresses upon the importance of being aware of cultural diversity when integrating CSR standards in specific company behaviors. Both Leisinger and Josef Wieland, Professor of Business Administration and Economics of Hochschule Konstanz University of Applied Sciences, have joined CKGSB Honorary Professor Tu Weiming at the World Ethics Institute Beijing (WEIB) in an effort to develop globally-accepted normative standards and embed them in China’s political and cultural context.

Watch the video of Leisinger’s talk to understand how to address pluralism in CSR management and also WEIB’s China mission.

About Klaus Leisinger:

Klaus M. Leisinger is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development (NFSD) and Special Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Novartis. Klaus Leisinger is also Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Basel, teaching topics related to international development and health policy, as well as business ethics, corporate responsibility, business and human rights.

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