FacebookFacebook icon TwitterTwitter icon LinkedInLinkedIn icon Email

Brain circuits

Four things you need to ask about your corporate digital responsibility plan

Published 12 October 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Corporate digital responsibility (CDR) is a set of practices and behaviors that help an organization use data and digital technologies in a way that is socially, economically, technically, and environmentally responsible. You need to have a CDR plan, either as part of or separate from your overall sustainability strategy. To evaluate where your company is currently at in terms of CDR, you should consider four issues: maturity, governance, processes, and culture. Ask yourself these questions:

What is the CDR maturity level in your company?

How advanced are you on digitally responsible practices? Have you assessed or benchmarked your organization?

How do you approach the governance of CDR?

Do you have a chief ethics officer or an ethics board or council? Cross-functional collaboration within your organization is necessary for the success of these initiatives.

How embedded are digital ethics in the way you do things?

Do you have processes in place to evaluate the ethical implications of digital tools or projects? Are digitally responsible practices baked into your organizational processes?

Are responsible digital practices embedded in your company culture?

Are digital issues such as privacy, cybersecurity, and digital diversity linked mostly to compliance, risk mitigation, or cost minimization? These link to purpose within a company – when people believe in the importance of the ethical implications of data use, things move more smoothly and people contribute more significantly.

This field of ethics is going to continue to grow, and it will be important for companies to take it seriously, not just because of doing the right thing, but because it will affect the bottom line. There has been a global shift with a significant drop in customer trust specifically towards digital companies. So, these concepts will become progressively more important when it comes to winning customers.

Further reading: 

Corporate Responsibility in the Digital Era by Michael Wade


Oyku Isik IMD

Öykü Işık

Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity at IMD

Öykü Işık is Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity at IMD, where she leads the Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy program. She is an expert on digital resilience and the ways in which disruptive technologies challenge our society and organizations. Named on the Thinkers50 Radar 2022 list of up-and-coming global thought leaders, she helps businesses to tackle cybersecurity, data privacy, and digital ethics challenges, and enables CEOs and other executives to understand these issues.

Michael Wade - IMD Professor

Michael R. Wade

Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD

Michael R Wade holds the Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation and is Director of IMD’s Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. He directs a number of open programs such as Leading Digital Business Transformation, Digital Transformation for Boards, Leading Digital Execution, and the Digital Transformation Sprint. He has written ten books, hundreds of articles, and hosts a popular management podcast. In 2021, he was inducted into the Swiss Digital Shapers Hall of Fame.


Learn Brain Circuits

Join us for daily exercises focusing on issues from team building to developing an actionable sustainability plan to personal development. Go on - they only take five minutes.
Read more 

Explore Leadership

What makes a great leader? Do you need charisma? How do you inspire your team? Our experts offer actionable insights through first-person narratives, behind-the-scenes interviews and The Help Desk.
Read more

Join Membership

Log in here to join in the conversation with the I by IMD community. Your subscription grants you access to the quarterly magazine plus daily articles, videos, podcasts and learning exercises.
Sign up

You have 4 of 5 articles left to read.