In their article, “Strategy and Society: The Link between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility”, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer speak to the concept of integrating business and society by implying that “both business decisions and social policies must follow the principle of shared value.” The idea of “mutual dependency of business and society” is also reflected in the Baldrige Criteria’s emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a requirement and core value, and in turn, the Baldrige-based Communities of Excellence 2026 emphasis is on consistent strategy development and deployment in conjunction with corporate partners.
Corporate Social Responsibility ideally is about organizational behavior driven by specific values and ethics to collaboratively provide value across multiple stakeholders. Richard Normann introduced the idea of a “value constellation” of stakeholders co-producing a desirable product for society. When a community has adopted a quality system such as the Communities of Excellence 2026 framework, the opportunity to align with corporate strategy and quality systems is maximized. Shared value is represented by targeted improvements in community health status, safety, economic vitality and educational attainment beneficial to both residents and the business environment. Aligning CSR strategies with community articulated priorities (strategy) just makes sense.
Richard A. Norling
Vice-Chair, Communities of Excellence 2026