Contact Dr Todd Cardarelli

Background

Todd holds a BS (Cornell University), MBA (American Graduate School of International Management), M.Ed (University of Urbana Champaign), MA (American University, School of International Service) and an MSc (Cranfield School of Management).

Todd is a Learning and Development Director at Ernst and Young, a global professional services firm. His areas of focus include organisational change, training and development, and career and performance management. In a global role, Todd designs and leads people development initiatives across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. He also plays a role in the design and implementation of the firm's global corporate responsibility strategy. His professional areas of interest include the role of business in society, organisational development, and cross-cultural communication.

Research opportunity

Exploring the role of the Human resources function (i.e. policies and practices and influence of HR leadership) in the design and implementation of corporate responsibility (CR) strategy in multinational firms.

It is widely recognised in the CR literature that the most effective approach to corporate responsibility is a strategic CR approach; one which leverages the core competencies of the organisation for the benefit of society as well as for the business itself.

While there is vast agreement on the value of strategic CR, there is little agreement on who should drive the organisational change required to support a more strategic approach to CR, other than that it should be sponsored by the top leadership of the organisation. A consistent theme in the literature is that there is no "one size fits all" approach to the implementation of CR; i.e. that the development and implementation of CR strategy should reflect the size, reach, culture, strategy, and goals of the organisation.

The literature suggests that a partnership between top management and HR would be an effective combination, combining the influence, business understanding and strategic oversight of top leadership with the ability of the HR function to effectively manage the required culture change associated with strategic CR implementation. Compared to the extensive literature on the role of the HR function to drive business change, there is relatively little focus in the literature on the role of HR in leading the implementation of corporate responsibility strategy. Given that the decision to embrace a strategic CR approach often represents a significant organisational change, however, there are lessons to be drawn from the literature on change management and HR that can apply in a CR context.

Based on the literature, it appears that although there are a number of key areas for HR to play a significant role in the development and implementation of CR strategy, the reality is that the HR function does not usually play a major role.

The purpose of the proposed research is to present the concept of strategic CR, depict a model of how an organisation’s orientation towards strategic CR might evolve and explore the role of HR in the implementation process. The proposed research seeks to explore the role of the HR function in design and implementation of strategic corporate responsibility. Specifically: What role has the HR function (through specific HR policies and practices, and its role / level of influence in the company) had in shaping the design and implementation of strategic CR in organisations that are widely recognised as leaders in strategic CR? What can one learn from their experiences? Can one develop a model (which includes guidance on policies and practice and the role of HR as a change leader) to help HR functions create unique competitive advantage through strategic CR?