The genius of corporate citizenship


At the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we have been busy finishing the analysis of our 6th biennial study of executive perspectives about corporate citizenship. The 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship is a snapshot of how executives in large companies think about their companies’ environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments.

It turns out that leaders of companies seeking to maximize business and social outcomes from these investments do not necessarily need leaders with the IQ of Einstein, but they would benefit from his persistence. One of the findings of the 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship study is that firms with longer durations of investment in ESG programs are more successful in achieving important business priorities and solving social problems that affect their operating contexts. On average, the percent of executives reporting success in achieving important business goals such as reducing waste, attracting and retaining employees, and improving reputation more than doubled if they had invested in corporate citizenship programs supporting those goals for four years or longer. DurationtoSuccess-KVS-20141002 Consistent with other recent research, executives whose companies integrated corporate citizenship programs with their overall business strategy and were more likely to report success than those whose companies considered it an add-on activity. Those whose companies opted to invest in ESG issues and programs related directly to their core competence or operating contexts were also more likely to report success. For more on the latest executive perspectives on corporate citizenship, as well as those of consumers, check out our webinar on the topic, which provides findings from the 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship, in addition to insight from Nielsen’s Doing Well by Doing Good report.