The relevance of the ISO26000 social responsibility issues to the Hong Kong construction industry

Lisa Robyn Barnes
Norman Croker


CorporateSocial Responsibility (CSR), the responsibility of a corporation for theimpacts of its decisions on society and the environment, originated as a termin the 1950’s (Carroll 1999). However, ISO 26000 (ISO 2010)“Guidance on Social Responsibility” published in November 2010, redefines “SocialResponsibility” (“SR”) broadly, by reference to SR principles, core subjectsand issues. The Hong Kong Construction Industry (“HKCI”) sector is critical to Hong Kong’s economy, accounting for5.6% of the GDP and 9.2% of employment in 1999 (Tang 2001). In 2011, the gross value of constructionwork by main contractors amounted to HK$128.53 billion and contributed HK$65.4 billion (HKGov 2013)to the total GDP of HK$1,823.2 billion (3.6%) (HKTDC 2013).The aim of this research is toinvestigate which ISO 26000 CSR issues are relevantto HKCI firms. Theprinciple findings are that: the reported level of HKCI CSR activity relativeto the 7 core subject of ISO 26000 is a function of company size; many SME’sconsider that many of the ISO 26000 SR issues are irrelevant to them; but forthe large construction contractors, reputation, legislation and or regulation andcorporate culture are drivers of improvements in CSR in the HKCI.


Construction Industry, Corporate Social Responsibility

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