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Brain circuits

The four components of digital corporate responsibility

Published 7 October 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Just as we are all looking at sustainability practices for the physical world, so we need to consider sustainable and ethical practices for the virtual world. Corporate digital responsibility (CDR) is a set of practices and behaviors that help an organization to use data and digital technologies in a way that is socially, economically, technically, and environmentally responsible. To understand this further, consider each aspect individually.

Social CDR

This includes ensuring data privacy protection for employees, customers, and other stakeholders. You should promote digital diversity and inclusion and pursue socially ethical practices.

Economic CDR

This includes using technology responsibly to replace jobs done by people. You must ensure that outsourcing work to the gig economy is done in a responsible way. You must share the economic benefits of digitization with society through things such as taxation.

Technical CDR

You must ensure the AI decision-making algorithms you are using are ethical. You should not produce digital technologies that harm society. You need to implement responsible cybersecurity protection and response practices. You must follow responsible data validation and disposal practices.

Environmental CDR

Just as with a physical commodity, you must follow responsible recycling practices for digital technologies. Extending the life span of technology is an environmentally responsible practice. You should consider responsible power consumption practices.

If your CDR planning is in a nascent stage, you can read more about forming a cohesive plan here.


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.


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