Home Page

 EPIC
 Las Vegas, NV 89119


Small to Medium Enterprises

SME Conversion Table


Leading enterprises, government agencies, and NGOs have found that an effective Corporate Responsibility Program addresses eight responsibility functions:
  1. High-level responsibility for program oversight (the "Responsible Officer")
  2. Performing or coordinating the specific functions of the Corporate Responsibility Program (the "Corporate Responsibility Officer")
  3. Advising the Responsible Officer and Corporate Responsibility Officer and representing the enterprise as whole (the "Corporate Responsibility Council")
  4. Advising the Responsible Officer, Corporate Responsibility Officer, and employees and agents about specific professional ethics, compliance and social responsibility issues, such as biomedical, engineering, or community issues (the "Professional Ethics Council")
  5. Linking various levels of the enterprise with a central ethics office ("Business Conduct Representatives")
  6. Related executive and department functions, such as the Chief Financial Officer; Legal Counsel; Human Resources; Internal Audit; Environmental, Health and Safety; government procurement; and Investor Relations
  7. The individual responsibility of every employee and other agent of the enterprise to abide by the standards and procedures and strive to meet reasonable stakeholder expectations
  8. Other stakeholders, including owners/investors and suppliers/service providers.

Though discussed separately, the nature of the enterprise and its size, complexity, and resources may argue for combining any number of them. Informal channels and reporting relationships can also be integral parts of Corporate Responsibility Program design.

Corporate Responsibility Infrastructure SME Conversion Chart
Function
Typical SME Staffing
High-level responsibility for program oversight (the "Responsible Officer") Often an owner, but another highly respected employee, who has substantial authority in the enterprise, is preferable.
Performing or coordinating the specific functions of the Corporate Responsibility Program (the "Corporate Responsibility Officer") Typically, a respected staff member performs or coordinates the functions of the Corporate Responsibility Officer. An SME can form or join a business association to develop training materials and provide a forum for managers to discuss ethics, compliance, and social responsibility issues, problems, and solutions. The SME can employ an independent answering service to provide a mechanism for employees and agents to seek advice or report concerns anonymously. The SME can use an outside service to conduct a periodic evaluation of its Corporate Responsibility Program.
Advising the Responsible Officer and Corporate Responsibility Officer that represents the enterprise as whole ("Corporate Responsibility Council") . An SME can conduct regular meetings of all or representative employees, perhaps 30-60 minutes per meeting, once a month, to discuss enterprise core beliefs; standards, procedures, and expectations; and current ethics, compliance, and social responsibility issues. A medium enterprise, especially one with multiple locations, can appoint members to such a council, but meet regularly by telephone. An SME can form or join a business association to provide a forum to discuss current ethics, compliance, and social responsibility issues, problems, and solutions. A college, university, or business development council might host a forum for SMEs. A large enterprise can, and often should, host a forum for its suppliers and service providers.
Advising the Responsible Officer, Corporate Responsibility Officer, and employees and agents about professional ethics, compliance and social responsibility issues, most often seen in hospitals, ("Professional Ethics Council") An SME can conduct regular meetings of all or representative professionals, perhaps 30-60 minutes, once a month, to discuss enterprise core beliefs, standards, procedures, and expectations on current professional ethics, compliance, and social responsibility issues. A medium enterprise, especially one with multiple locations, can appoint members to such a council, but meet regularly by telephone. An SME can form or join a business association to develop training materials and provide a forum to discuss current professional ethics, compliance, and social responsibility issues, problems, and solutions. A college, university, or business development council can host a forum for SMEs. A large enterprise might host or sponsor a forum for its suppliers and service providers.
Individuals at various levels of the enterprise who link a central ethics office with the field ("Business Conduct Representatives") For the SME, these may be respected, knowledgeable staff members at its various levels or locations, who have the right to communicate directly with the Owner/Owner-representatives, Responsible Officer, or Corporate Responsibility Officer on responsible business conduct issues: ethics, compliance, and social responsibility. These Business Conduct Representatives can also conduct responsible Business Conduct training and education and assist in program evaluation at local levels.
Related executive and department functions, such as the Chief Financial Officer; Legal Counsel; Human Resources; Internal Audit; Environmental, Health and Safety; government procurement; and Investor Relations The SME often uses trusted, independent professionals to perform many of these functions. If so, they should participate in enterprise responsible business conduct training programs and, where practicable, its discussions of current ethics, compliance, and social responsibility issues. These independent professionals can form their own independent forums to discuss current ethics, compliance, and social responsibility issues. They may also be engaged to advise SME owners and managers on how to design and implement a Corporate Responsibility Program using this Manual and other resources. Provided they respect the confidences and proprietary information of each SME, they can amortize the cost of providing these services over multiple clients.
The individual responsibility of every employee and agent of the enterprise to abide by the standards and procedures and strive to meet reasonable stakeholder expectations Individual responsibility of employees and agents applies to all enterprises regardless of size. In the SME, it may be difficult for employees to seek advice or report concerns confidentially and anonymously. Owners and managers of SMEs must work to develop an organizational culture where employees and agents are able to speak up confidently and safely.
Other stakeholders, including owners/investors and suppliers/service providers The individual responsibility of every stakeholder to recognize the contribution/impact he or she makes/has by operating effectively, efficiently and responsibly within a market-oriented legal and ethical framework of choice and action and contributing to the development of individual human potential and social capital. See, e.g.,

Back to Top

 



© 1999-2020 Kenneth W. Johnson | Legal | Privacy Statement