H-CSR-M: Hopkins CSR Model
CSR is a systems approach to managing a company i.e. all important aspects of a company (or institution be it public of NGO) are subject to review under the searchlight of CSR/Sustainability
The H-CSR-M is a fully owned product of MHCi that is based upon MHCi work on a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) conceptual model that MHCi has been using, and steadily improving, over the past 20 years to assess the CSR/Sustainability of companies and institutions.
The CSR model offers:
1. Clear CSR Definition
2. A Conceptual Model stemming from the definition
3. Key Performance Indicators based upon the model
4. A 15 point strategy of implementation
These four key components are accompanied by
1. A Practical Example
2. CSR Rating of your company or insititution
3. Online Training
4. CSR Certification
Dr Hopkins’ last twenty years of investigation, experience, analysis and teaching have been included in his latest book – ‘CSR and Sustainability – From the Margins to the Mainstream: A Text Book (Greenleaf, UK, January, 2016).
2. Brief Background
The Hopkins’ model itself is based upon the work of many authors and many of its components have come from such people, albeit adapted to MHCi’s own view of CSR shaped by 20 years of applying the main H-CSR-M concept. Three main academic influences, as will be seen, were the work of Archie Carroll and his famous pyramid that we have adapted. Donna Wood and her model of Corporate Social Performance and the work of Ed Freeman on stakeholder dialogue. Our own model puts all these aforementioned contributions together, adapting them and applying them in practice. The model is a perfect way to assess the CSR of an institution or private company that can be accomplished very quickly.
3. The Hopkins CSR Model in Summary
So what is the model? The basic framework of the model is illustrated in the Figure 1 below and is composed essentially of CSR Definition, CSR Principle Processes and Products, CSR Measurement and CSR Strategy.
Figure 1: Hopkins CSR Model Pyramid
CSR is a systems model to look at the social responsibility of all key stakeholders of an institution or company i.e. all aspects of a company or institution that contribute to its business or efficient operation are considered. We also insist that the business case for private companies’ use of CSR MUST be maintained i.e. profits must be targeted (or efficiency in the case of a non-private institution). Further, the model is not against profits per se, but HOW profits are made i.e. they must be made in a socially responsible manner.
Thus the CSR systems model we describe consists of four main components – the CSR definition, which is the core of the model and from which the other components and detail emerge; a process to describe the main components of the model which are its principles, processes and products .
Our model definition leads to a set of components, indicators and measures which allow the measurement of CSR with the Key Performance Indicators that allow one to assess progress and impact. The fourth main component is a 15 point strategy for any company or institution to follow. Like any model, the four points can be taken in the order I propose but its actual use will be used iteratively to ensure the best practical implementation.
3. The four elements of the Hopkins CSR Model
I shall look briefly at each element of the model next. Fuller details are given in our proprietory software which will be available through my CSR International Club – see a Beta test version at https://club.csrfi.com .
The four elements of the H-CSR-M are briefly:
1. The Definition
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a process that is concerned with treating the stakeholders of a company or institution ethically and in a responsible manner. Key stakeholders must be treated in a manner deemed acceptable according to international norms.
- Social responsibility includes economic and environmental responsibility. Stakeholders exist both inside and outside a firm or institution.
- The ultimate aim of corporate social responsibility is to create higher and higher standards of sustainable living, while preserving the profitability of the corporation or the integrity of the institution, for peoples both within and outside these entities. The key is how profits are made, not the pursuit of profits at any cost.
- CSR and sustainability are closely linked in that they both aim to achieve sustainable development in societies. Both CSR and sustainability address multi-stakeholders and their materiality.
- Corporate is taken to mean any “body” and as such includes the private corporate sector as well as NGOs, associations and governments.
This definition is a bit of a mouthful so if I meet you in the street I want you to at least recite the essential part, and you won’t go far wrong in using and applying it, which is:
CSR is about treating key stakeholders responsibly
A good definition essentially defines the conceptual model from which all the elements can easily evolve. I de-construct the above definition in great detail in my text book, but I am confident in the above statement for a number of reasons.
First it evolved from the great US thinkers in the 20th Century. Second both the EU and ISO26000 just about use the main thrust of the definition. Third, it covers just about every element of what we want to say. Perhaps the key element, and the link to sustainability, is to add the definition of sustainable development which is:
Note on Sustainable development. Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs as defined by the UN sponsored report on Our Common Future chaired by Gro Brundtland. See: http://www.un-documents.net/our-common-future.pdf accessed April 2 2015.
Thus CSR, as defined above, aims to achieve sustainable development as its goal.
2. The 3-P Model
The basic elements of the H-CSR-M conceptual model are threefold:
• Principles of social responsibility
• Processes of social responsiveness
• Products (or outcomes) of social responsibility
Principles of social responsibility
Processes of social responsibility
Internal stakeholder effects
External stakeholder effects
External institutional effects
I call this the 3-P model for the measurement of CSR…more details are available to club members or contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org .
The CSP model, I now call part of the Hopkins CSR model, is used as a basis to develop a set of suggested indicators to measure corporate social responsibility profiles. As I have already noted there are three “layers” of the model and nine essential elements of measurement. The indicators suggested have been constructed within these elements and thereby offers a clear conceptual model from which ways to measure and compare outcomes in each element and collectively, impact outcomes of the total system. Our approach leads to man fewer indicators than normally found in frameworks, such as GRI for instance. Again, more details are available to club members or contact us via email@example.com .
4. CSR Strategy
What happens when these ideas are transformed into a strategic framework to enhance the competitive advantage of a company while preserving the values of CSR?
Instigating a CSR programme simply on a “nice-to-do” or “wishful thinking” basis just won’t wash in today’s “goldfish bowl” business environment. CSR is not just the right thing to do; it has to be the right thing to do for your company or organization. Hence the first step is to identify and pin down the key business or organizational goals. Having done so, the purpose of a strategic CSR programme in terms of how it will align with and hopefully advance these goals can be clearly stated. Hopefully this will be self-evident to those who will have to sign off on the programme. As such, the aims and objectives of any CSR programme have to be aligned with the corporate or organizational goals and also be congruent with the corporate or organizational values. If not, they will simply bounce off and it will be back to square one!
The H-CSR-M has such a strategy that has been applied in over 50 companies around the world. Based on the aforementioned experiences this strategy has been converted into 15 key steps in creating a corporate CSR strategy. Again, more details are available to club members or contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org .
After a presentation of the book at one of Michael’s CSR Meetups in Geneva in September 2015, he emphasised the conceptual CSR model he had been using. One of the audience insisted that it should be called the ‘Hopkins CSR Model (HCSRM)’ since that way it would form a focus for future CSR efforts. At first Michael was not so much of an egoist that he wanted to call the model after himself, especially as he says that he stood on the ‘shoulders of giants’ in the model’s development. But, as you see, he was convinced.
During a presentation of his text book, Michael used the phrase ‘conceptual model’ to describe CSR. He also explained that CSR is a systems model to look at the social responsibility of all key stakeholders of an institution or company i.e. all aspects of a company or institution that contribute to its business or efficient operation are considered. He also insists that the business case for private companies’ use of CSR MUST be maintained i.e. profits must be targeted (or efficiency in the case of a non-private institution). Further, the model is not against profits per se, but HOW profits are made i.e. they must be made in a socially responsible manner.
A participant suggested the term ‘Hopkins CSR Model’ for the CSR systems model Michael described which, in turn, consists of four main components – the CSR definition, which is the core of the model and from which the other components and detail emerge; a process to describe the main components of the model which are its principles, processes and products.
 Major influences of Michael’s ideas have been the early academic pioneers of CSR in the USA – Archie Carroll, Donna Wood, Ed Freeman, Pat Werhane, Mitchell; then practitioners such as Anita Roddick, Adrian Payne, Simone de Colle, Al Straughan; UK Business Strategy guru Abby Ghobadian and last but not least my graduate students such as Nadine Hawa, Ms. Biernat, Jacques Bogh, Chris Cordey and Maga Ramasamy.
 A line of thought in the management field which stresses the interactive nature andinterdependence of external and internal factors in an organization. A systems approach is commonly used to evaluate market elements which affect the profitability of a business. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/system-approach.html#ixzz3nP05aekR accessed Oct 2 2015