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CIHRM Seminar - ‘New Directions in Managing Corporate Social Responsibility’

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Susan C. Schneider is Professor of Human Resource Management at HEC University of Geneva, Switzerland, and Visiting Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD , France. Professor Schneider’s research interests include cross-cultural management, and the impact of cognitive sciences on corporate strategy formulation. In addition to her research, she has actively worked to internationalize the ‘mindsets’ of managers and companies worldwide. Professor Schneider has published a book (written with Jean Louis Barsoux) entitled Managing across Cultures, which is a seminal work in the development of international HRM .

Her theme in the seminar will be that of corporate social responsibility, and specifically the work of the RESPONSE project, the first attempt to study systematically CSR as both an organizational practice and an individual behaviour.

The RESPONSE project is a collaboration between a number of leading business schools, 21 European and North American multinationals active in eight different industries, and more than 100 of their stakeholders. The project aims to move beyond explanations based on the industry and the cultural environment in which the company acts, to inquire about the impact of organizational and individual characteristics on the managers’ ability to understand stakeholders’ expectations. Organizational characteristics such as the firm’s strategy, its organizational structure (including its governance), its knowledge and learning management processes, for example, are important pieces of the puzzle. At an individual level, the project seeks to understand how personal values, emotional traits and cognitive reasoning can explain the manager’s perception of its company’s social responsibility as well as the willingness and ability to integrate this understanding in the day-to-day decisions and actions.

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