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Quality Digest

Standards

U.S. Companies Lag in Social Responsibility

Published: Monday, April 3, 2006 - 22:00

A poll performed by the American Society for Quality found that while 96 percent of respondents indicated that their companies’ corporate stance toward social responsibility will greatly affect the United States’ economic future, more than 40 percent of them don’t have a social responsibility policy in place. In what may be the “Enron effect,” of those that did have such a policy in place, 70 percent of them reported doing so since 2001.The poll also reveals that two-thirds of the business leaders would implement a social responsibility policy primarily to maintain their brand image, enhance employee morale and reduce legal liability.

ASQ conducted the poll in preparation for its development of a global standard for social responsibility. In the wake of corporate scandals, environmental disasters, child-labor violations and dangerous work environments, the voluntary standard will provide consistent principles and direction for an organization’s commitment to social responsibility. Experts from the public and private sectors are invited to join the team that will develop the standard.

“It’s clear that the choices we make today to ensure a more ethical work and living environment will certainly have a major impact tomorrow,” says Paul Borawski, ASQ executive director and chief strategic officer. “There could not be a more timely opportunity for organizations to join together and make their voices heard about the issue of social responsibility.”

The new standard is targeted for publication in the fourth quarter of 2008. For more information, visit www.asq.org.

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