Employee social responsibility

Great leaders drive staff social responsibility

Effective leadership is crucial if an organisation is to achieve higher levels of staff social responsibility, an academic has claimed.

Dr Nishat Babu, a business psychologist in the Work and Organisational Psychology Department at Aston Business School, was speaking at the latest Fresh Perspectives event on Wednesday 26 July.

She explained how her research had showed that “transformational leadership” was a key factor in promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) at the micro level – which she referred to as employee social responsibility (ESR).

Whilst “effective leadership is the key driver”, it also needs to prioritise CSR, within a wider CSR climate.

Dr Babu said: “When thinking of CSR, the focus tends to be at the organisational level and on what organisations ‘do’ which is socially responsible.

“It is argued that greater attention also needs to be placed within the organisation, on the employees. How can we encourage employees to further their individual social responsibility efforts?

“The implications of my research are that leadership development is crucial, as well as communicating the importance of social responsibility and drawing attention to relevant activities.

“Also important are making an organisation’s policies and procedures conducive for ESR, and recognising that ESR is multi-dimensional.”

She described the different dimensions of ESR, which included environmental awareness and engaging with communities as well as the traditional charitable ESR activity.

After Dr Babu’s talk, the audience at The Colmore Building in Birmingham city centre heard examples of ESR from business people involved in local charities LoveBrum and The Access Project.

LoveBrum is a registered charity that engages with local people and businesses to support hidden gem projects across Birmingham that deliver real change, with outcomes that can be seen, measured, enjoyed, and loved.

The Access Project works with high-potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing in-school support and personalised tuition to help them gain access to selective universities.  Volunteers deliver 1:1 tuition at their workplaces for an hour a week. 

The Aston Business School’s Fresh Perspectives talk was co-sponsored by SimkissGuy Recruitment Ltd, and around 30 people attended.


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