Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Social Responsibility and the Innovation Process

The impact of social responsibility in the innovation process is huge. Today, more than ever, as our boundaries vanish globally and our actions have a ripple affect across an infinite expanse, we need to be aware of how everything we do impacts other lives, businesses, and our environment. “With organizations, economies, and entire societies increasingly interconnected, our actions affect (and are affected by) others, often literally a world away” (Senge, 2003). Gebler (2006) posits that there are 7 levels on which ethical organizations operate: 1) financial stability, 2) communication, 3) systems and processes, 4) accountability, 5) alignment, 6) social responsibility, and 7) sustainability. Gebler (2006) also states that successful organizations “operate across the full spectrum with particular focus in the upper levels of consciousness-the common good-accountability, leading to learning and innovation” (Gebler, 2006). All of these constructs are created by nurturing an ethical organizational culture which starts with leadership that has a “cascading effect from higher level leaders to lower level leaders due to modeling effective behaviors, hiring others with similar behaviors, and behaviors being reinforced by the organization (Bass, Waldman, Avolio, & Bebb, 1987) (Tucker & Russell, 2004).


Gebler, D. (2006). Creating an ethical structure. Strategic Finance. May 2006, Vol. 87, Iss.11; p. 28.

Senge, P.M. (2003). Creating desired futures in a global economy. Reflections. Vol. 5, Iss. 1. Retrieved from Ebscohost October 1, 2008.

Tucker, B.A. & Russell, R.F. (2004). The influence of the transformational leader. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies (Baker College). Spring 2004, Vol. 10, Iss. 4; p. 103-111.

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