The Perception of High Ratings for Business Ethics and CSR Initiatives Clash With the Lack of Fundamentals –’s HR Research Institute

Jacksons Point, Ontario, Canada ( Thursday Jul 11, 2024 @ 8:00 AM America/Toronto —

The latest study by the HR Research Institute uncovers a stark discrepancy between companies’ self-assessed and actual business ethics and CSR practices, revealing a need for more foundational efforts.

Most organizations (63%) consider themselves ethically and socially responsible. They believe these efforts yield tangible benefits, such as a stronger brand reputation (48%), better employee experiences (47%), and an improved ability to attract candidates (34%). However, a closer look reveals that these self-assessments may be overly optimistic.

The study shows that a small proportion of organizations implement fundamental ethics practices. In fact, only:

  • 22% engage in responsible sourcing/procurement

  • 22% undertake anti-corruption practices

  • 14% conduct regular ethics audits

The situation is similar for CSR initiatives, as a mere:

  • 25% have corporate policies benefiting the environment

  • 21% engage in ethical supply chain management

  • 16% develop sustainable products/services

“Organizations must move beyond surface-level commitments and ensure they are implementing the necessary practices to truly uphold business ethics and corporate social responsibility,” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of “Doing so not only strengthens the employer brand and enhances employee experiences but also plays a crucial role in attracting top talent.”

The research report,’s State of HR’s Role in Ethics and Social Responsibility 2024, is available for free download and provides actionable takeaways and tips to help HR professionals critically assess and enhance their ethics and CSR strategies. By addressing these shortcomings, organizations can foster a more ethical, responsible, and sustainable future.

The recording of the research presentation, Why Ethics and Social Responsibility Are Key to Better Employee Experiences, is available for viewing 24/7 on demand.

About and the HR Research Institute

The HR Research Institute (HRRI) helps you keep your finger on the pulse of HR! Powered by, the world’s largest HR community, the HRRI identifies key trends and best practices to help more than 2 million HR professionals and their organizations make strategic decisions with informed and insightful research findings. Among the most productive and respected HR research institutes globally, the HRRI publishes dozens of high-quality reports every year across a wide array of HR topics.’s free membership offers many benefits, including access to over 250 exclusive primary research, state-of-the-industry reports, and infographics. These resources are published based on surveys developed with the assistance of a panel of thought leaders and industry experts on the advisory boards.

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