Jeff Bartel is chairman and managing director of Hamptons Group, a private investment and strategic advisory firm headquartered in Miami.
The pyramid of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is evolving, and organizations must evolve with it. Popular theories of business ethics that once maintained profitability as the sole foundational base are giving way to new constructs that place social and environmental concerns on the same level, creating a triple bottom line proposition for corporate entities. Understanding that foundation and how business ethics plays a role in support is critical to developing processes, messaging and company cultures that support growth.
The Triple Bottom Line Has Upended The Pyramid Of Corporate Social Responsibility
Defined by Archie B. Carroll in the latter part of the 20th century, the pyramid of corporate social responsibility contended that companies had obligations in four key areas: profitability, legality, ethics and philanthropy. In Carroll’s model, these obligations were not all equal. Economic drivers were first and foremost, making profitability the pyramid’s base.