As More Companies Develop Corporate Responsibility Strategies, Gaps in the Profession Remain

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CROA) today released a breakthrough business report called The State of the Corporate Responsibility Profession.  Among the nine different key findings from the research, BCLC and CROA found that the characteristics that define a mature profession, such as an educational curriculum and a career pipeline, currently are lacking in the corporate responsibility (CR) profession.  BCLC and CROA also found that while few of the CR leaders in companies today entered the field deliberately, they have paved the way for “generation 2.0” CR practitioners.

“Corporate responsibility as we know it today has only existed for the past a few decades,” said BCLC Founder and Executive Director Stephen Jordan.  “While the CR field is more intertwined than ever in smart business strategy, it stands at a critical crossroads in its development into a mature profession.”

BCLC and CROA surveyed various stakeholders, including academics, practitioners and recognized thought leaders for the study.  The results serve as a benchmark for where the CR profession stands in 2012 as well as provides recommendations on how to mature the field’s set of knowledge, skills and attributes.  The majority of survey respondents agreed on the following: 
• CR remains a nascent profession lacking the distinct set of professional characteristics;
• The CR field lacks a deliberate career path; and 
• The progress of the corporate responsibility officer (CRO) is continuously evolving.

“Dealing with the tough issues -- creating sustained economic growth, preserving resources for future generations, increasing respect for human dignity -- requires complex decision making,” says Richard Crespin, executive director of the CROA.  “This report lays out a roadmap for embedding that kind of critical thinking into the leadership curriculum for business people everywhere.”

The study is available on BCLC’s website at http://bclc.uschamber.com/document/state-corporate-responsibility-profession-report.

The study results will be the topic of the upcoming event Conversations with Stephen: The State of the CSR Profession with BCLC Executive Director Stephen Jordan and CROA Executive Director Richard Crespin. The event will be webcast live on March 30, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST. To attend the webcast or coinciding tweetchat, please visithttp://bclc.uschamber.com/event/conversations-stephen-series-0.

About the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CROA)
The CROA and its members transform ideas into action, advancing corporate responsibility (CR), the profession, and their careers.  As the single largest independent CR professional society, CROA supports the concept that to excel, organizations need to embrace all CR disciplines:  sustainability, governance, social responsibility, and philanthropy.  Our mission is to promote the practice and profession of corporate responsibility in service of good business.

About the Business Civic Leadership Center
BCLC is the U.S. Chamber’s resource and voice for businesses’ social and philanthropic interests.  Its mission is to advance the positive role of business in society. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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