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CSR and responsible leadership

The Institute conducts academic and applied research to determine what type of leadership is generated by organisations that are both committed to responsibility and encourage and develop greater leadership capabilities. At the same time, it examines the relationship between a company’s competitive factors and its responsibility actions, especially how companies that link their social responsibility and innovation capabilities are able to develop new products and markets, strengthening aspects of their competitiveness.  

Updates

La RSE ante el espejo: Entre el desencanto, la conciencia de oportunidad y el sentimiento de urgencia

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Danone, Ecosystem Fund and Ana Bella Foundation Project: Balance & Perspectives (2011-14)

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¿Pueden las empresas contribuir a los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio? Claves para comprender y actuar 

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Projects

Study: CSR’s impact on people management: Good practices


The purpose of this study is to analyse the impact corporate CSR strategies and initiatives have on their people management policies. Through CSR, companies aim to overcome legally established minimums, providing added value based on their social and environmental commitment. This study aims to reveal the direct benefits of this commitment for employees in terms of their motivation, productivity, better climate at work and even their own behaviour with respect to the companies.

 

To achieve this goal, the authors identify 4 good practices, enabling them to extract the keys to success for this connection between CSR and HR.

 

Researchers: Ignasi Carreras and Carlos Cortés

 

With support from ISS Facility Services, project currently underway

CSR before the mirror: Between disenchantment, awareness of the opportunity and a sense of urgency


During the last few decades of the 20th century and the first few years of this new millennium, we have seen how companies have become increasingly aware of their responsibility in terms of their impact on society. However, with the 2008 global financial crisis, a debate ensued on whether or not CSR was a mere passing trend, set to disappear when faced by moments of financial crisis or, contrarily, if it was a line of work which would come out stronger from the difficult global economic situation caused, in part, by a lack of responsibility.

 

The aim of this research was to examine the current state of CSR, understand its situation and see how it evolved in preceding years and what challenges it might face in the future.

 

Publication (Spanish): La RSE ante el espejo: Entre el desencanto, la conciencia de oportunidad y el sentimiento de urgencia

 

Researchers: Josep Maria Lozano and Sira Abenoza

 

With support from Fundación Abertis, 2013-2015 academic year

Danone, Ecosystem Fund and Ana Bella Foundation Project: Balance & Perspectives (2011-2014)


The aim of this project was to measure the social impact of the project launched by Danone and the Escuela Ana Bella School in 2001 to empower women at risk of social exclusion. The social impact of the “Escuela Social Ana bella para el Empoderamiento de la Mujer” was measured using a qualitative methodology, allowing researchers to quantify the transformation participants experienced in their day-to-day lives.

 

Publication: Danone, Ecosystem Fund and Ana Bella Foundation Project: Balance & Perspectives (2011-14)

Publication (Spanish): Danone, Ecosystem Fund and Ana Bella Foundation Project: Balance & Perspectives (2011-14)

 

Researchers: David Murillo and Teodor Mellen

 

With support from Danone Group’s Fondo Ecosystem and Fundación Ana Bella, 2014-2015 academic year

A guide for managers and leaders to transition to a creative organization


Numerous management disciplines have studied how to motivate people for different ends, using varied theoretical approaches for this. Despite these efforts, there is no specific instruction manual to help executives communicate their ideas so that the latter make sense to others and, thus, motivate them to carry out concrete actions. Our value-based approach is different from previous studies in that we adopt a narrative focus centred on the inherent level of discourse. Consequently, we craft stories, bearing in mind the latent social and collective value framework. This is a completely innovative approach in management, because values are not normally considered from this perspective and because we explore a forgotten element: the most profound narrative structures.

 

Publication: A guide for managers and leaders to transit to a creative organization

 

Researchers: Josep Maria Lozano and Queralt Prat-i-Pubill

 

With support from Fundación Abertis, 2013-2015 academic years

CEIDA: CSR of Extractive Companies in Africa


The aim of this project was to expand our knowledge of CSR practices and discourse amongst mineral, oil and gas extractive companies in developing countries. This study implied carrying out a detailed analysis of those companies’ CSR policies, different stakeholder reactions to these types of policies and an assessment of their impact in the countries where those companies operated.

 

Researchers: Pep Maria, Matthew Murphy, Fredrick Onyango Ogola, Miho Taka and Jordi Vives Gabriel

 

With support from Universidad Ramón Llull - Ethos Chair and Fundación Abertis, 2013-2014 academic year

Neuroscience and responsible leadership


Recent advances in neuroscience provide significant data on our understanding of leadership and how it develops. The Neuroscience of Leadership project launched by Arizona State University and applying ABM (Advanced Brain Monitoring) technology sought to research the neuroscientific aspects of leadership, paying special attention to responsible, inspirational and team leadership.

 

This project demonstrated that research on leadership can be combined with neuroscience to expand our knowledge of responsible leadership, one of the most significant challenges organisations face.

 

Researchers: Thomas Maak and Nicola Pless

 

With support from Fundación Abertis, 2013-2014 academic year

Observatory on Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)


The Observatory on Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) was an annual publication (2008-2011), detailing changes and trends in the international socially responsible investment field, with special emphasis on the Spanish financial market. In this respect, its objective was to provide investors and society, in general, an informational tool to understand the role that SRI plays as the key driver for CSR based on the role of investors concerned with social responsibility and sustainability issues.

 

Publications:

Observatorio 2011 de la Inversión Socialmente Responsable

Observatorio 2010 de la Inversión Socialmente Responsable

Observatorio 2009 de la Inversión Socialmente Responsable

Observatorio de la inversión socialmente responsable en España

 

With support from BBVA, 2008-2011 academic years

CSR amongst extractive companies in Africa


A key challenge has emerged from the CSR perspective regarding Spanish and other Northern countries’ extractive company operations and their internationalisation: up to what point do these companies’ activities contribute to the economic development and promotion of human rights for the host country residents, in addition to their own profits.

 

With support from Universitat Ramón Llull - Ethos Chair, 2012-2013 academic year

CSR and corruption


In our country, unlike what happens elsewhere and despite the multitude of mandatory and voluntary international agreements on corruption, few companies publicly recognise that they are actually working to reduce the impact corruption has on their businesses’ management.

 

The project entitled La lucha contra la corrupción en las empresas del IBEX 35 (“The fight against corruption amongst IBEX-35 companies”) led to the creation of an initial, comprehensive framework on how to prevent corruption in the private sector based on the joint perception of both companies and stakeholders regarding this issue. The study began with a detailed analysis of information regarding this fight against corruption published by leading Spanish firms. After determining the situation of these companies and stakeholder expectations, the researchers examined the training programmes implemented to move forward on preventing corruption.

 

Publication (Spanish): La lucha contra la corrupción en las empresas del IBEX 35 Percepción y participación de los stakeholders

 

Researchers: Julia Salsas and David Murillo

 

With support from Fundación Abertis and Gas Natural Fenosa, 2012-2013 academic year

CSR and competitiveness: CSR impact on multinationals’ competitiveness


This project is included within the sustainable business leadership research field. It focuses on competitiveness and strategy and specifically on multinationals and their management of their social and environmental responsibility. It also analyses strategy creation models in multinationals.

 

With support from Universitat Ramon Llull - Ethos Chair, Abertis and Fundación Repsol

Sector-specific CSR guidelines for SMEs


The IIS prepared a series of CSR guides for SMEs. Each includes a brief analysis of the sector in question along with a series of case studies dedicated to Catalan SMEs applying CSR to better their positioning in their respective industries.

 

Publications:

Guías sectoriales de RSE en la pequeña y mediana empresa: El sector de la energía solar  (ESP)

Guies sectorials de RSE a la petita i mitjana empresa: El sector de l'energia solar (CAT)

Guías sectoriales de RSE en la pequeña y mediana empresa: El sector de la hostelería (ESP)

Guies sectorials de RSE a la petita i mitjana empresa: El sector de l'hoteleria (CAT)

Guies sectorials de RSE a la petita i mitjana empresa, sector de l'automoció (CAT)

 

With support from Obra Social Caixa Sabadell, 2008-2010 academic years

Stakeholder Engagement. Stakeholder participation in corporate decision-making processes


The aim of this study is to analyse the different methodologies and interaction levels companies maintain with agents who are not traditionally seen as key stakeholders. These include NGOs, local and indigenous communities as well as specific associations or groups within the latter. These stakeholders also include other groups historically on the fringes of business activities and with whom there have been conflictive or difficult relations at times. Specifically, the aim of this study is to explore which communication, dialogue and participation strategies and policies have a positive effect on the parties’ credibility, effectiveness and the creation of mutual trust.

 

Publications:

Relaciones empresariales con comunidades locales y ONG

Relaciones empresariales con comunidades locales y ONG (second part)

Corporate relations with local communities and NGOs (ENG)

 

With support from Abertis and Fundación Repsol, 2008-2014 academic years

RScat, the social responsibility network for SMEs


This project encompasses the initiatives and commitment of a series of organisations, academic and business representatives, public administrations and unions. Their aim is to create and encourage the use of tools designed to promote CSR among SMEs in Catalonia.

 

Publication (Spanish): Modelo de indicadores de RSE para pymes. Manual de uso

 

www.rscat.net

 

With support from the Government of Catalonia and the Provincial Council of Barcelona, 2008-2009 academic year

CSR in IBEX-35 companies’ corporate governance structures. An analysis of their transparency


This study focuses on the integration of CSR within the corporate governance structures of leading firms in the key Spanish stock exchange. This analysis centres on three key dimensions: transparency (the level of information the companies provide in terms of their CSR); bodies responsible for CSR within the corporate governance structures; and remuneration for senior executives and members of the board.

 

Publication (Spanish): La RSE en el gobierno corporativo de las sociedades del Ibex 35: un análisis de transparencia

 

With support from Gas Natural, 2008-2009 academic year

Companies inspiring futures


In times of change, we have to reconsider everything and carry out in-depth drama-free reflections on all the things we hoped would go well but haven’t. This is also an excellent opportunity to examine organisations with different approaches to the traditional production system. Internationally, they have been dubbed “social entrepreneurs”, and their primary trait is that they create economic and social value at the same time.

 

With support from La Obra Social Caixa Catalunya, 2008-2009 academic year

Competitiveness and CSR in Spanish SMEs. Initiatives and proposals


This study primarily focused on identifying informational and educational models, awareness-raising campaigns, good practices and the creation of tools and services to help and support SMEs in terms of CSR.

 

With support from the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, 2008-2009 academic year

Analysis of corporate philanthropy amongst Spanish companies listed in the IBEX-35 stock exchange


The magnitude and complexity of the socio-economic problems the world faces today require solutions that, in turn, require new and complex capacities. This project proposed that the next step in studying corporate social action initiatives was to carry out more in-depth analyses of these companies and, in particular, the processes involved and the content of the initiatives they launched.

 

Publication (Spanish): Nuevas tendencias de la acción social corporativa

 

With support from Abertis and Fundación Repsol, 2008-2009 academic year