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Are Your Employees Aligned with Your Purpose? SHERPA Partners with Leading Researchers for Ground-Breaking CSR Study.

Three organizations have joined forces for innovative research on the correlation between corporate social responsibility, employee engagement, and alignment with company values.

Submitted by: Sherpa Sustainability Institute

Categories: Business Ethics, Research, Reports & Publications

Posted: Jun 13, 2017 – 12:59 PM EST


DURANGO, Colo., Jun. 13 /CSRwire/ - In collaboration with fellow B-Corp, Imperative and Ascendant Global Leadership (AGL), SHERPA Sustainability Institute expands its 2017 Research Study on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). SHERPA Founding Partner Andrea Hoffmeier explains, “This collaboration adds a new dimension to our study, focused on understanding how to better align frontline workers with the values and purpose of their employer.”  

Imperative’s 2016 Workforce Purpose Index, conducted in collaboration with LinkedIn, helps illustrate how companies that lead with purpose are more likely to be profitable.  By joining forces, the research team aims to make important discoveries related to non-management employees.  Arthur Woods, Imperative co-founder shares, "We are thrilled to have SHERPA as part of the Imperative community, advancing work on Purpose. Their work uncovering the link between CSR and Sustainability will play a key role in the advancement of this important movement."

AGL’s Dr. Greg Allen, another valuable contributor to the study, offers insights on the frontline employee, an under-studied population, compared to management.  His research indicates that “an employee’s perception of their organization’s social responsibility performance can positively influence their identification with, and commitment to, the organization.

Building upon the work of the E.Y. Beacon Institute and Harvard Business School, SHERPA, AGL, and Imperative aim to reach beyond CSR’s link to profitability to explore how aligning organizational and employee purpose can mitigate organizational risk. The research team seeks  to connect with as many frontline employees as possible and offers participating organizations access to the research findings, along with suggestions on aligning employees with the company’s purpose. To participate, organizational leaders are encouraged to visit

Dr. Holly Duckworth, co-author of A Six Sigma Approach to Sustainability, explains the added dimension of the research collaboration.  “While the evidence is growing that having purpose matters, there are many headlines demonstrating that a lack of purpose can have devastating results.  Unethical and irresponsible decisions in the trenches can cause negative impacts in the billions of dollars, and even result in loss of life.” Duckworth points to the recent Takata airbag fiasco as a one stunning example.

Takata’s business purpose is saving lives.  Frontline decisions were made in complete misalignment with that purpose, resulting in injuries and loss of life. We are seeking to understand that disconnect, which is happening in companies across the globe, in every industry,” Duckworth explains.

The research team’s hypothesis is that there is a disconnect in behavioral expectations, from the C-Suite, to management, to the frontlines. They aim to uncover when, how, and why this disconnect occurs, and what organizational leaders can do to bridge the gap.

Gaining access to frontline employees, across a broad range of industries, is critical to understanding the precursors to employees becoming, sometimes tragically, detached from the organization’s purpose.  Hoffmeier, also co-author of A Six Sigma Approach to Sustainability, explains. “Given the potential damage when workers in the trenches do not align with behavior expected from leadership, we are seeking to engage as many organizations as possible.”  

SHERPA has been discussing their hypothesis at Leadership Roundtables from Phoenix, to Charlotte and Cambridge, where international thought leaders have gathered to share insights that inform the content of the CSR research study.  The recent roundtable, in aerospace and technology mecca, Huntsville, Alabama, was attended by professionals from organizations including Sanmina, Steelcase, and ADTRAN, a global provider of communications equipment. Kaushik Mallik, a Reliability Engineer with ADTRAN, shares, “We talked about frontline employee empowerment (letting them succeed and fail) and business practices, from manufacturing to local city governance.  I walked out with a better perspective on what CSR could mean to this community and country.”  Upcoming events from DC to Las Vegas and other cities welcome culturally, geographically, and professionally diverse groups of professionals.  

About SHERPA Sustainability Institute
SHERPA is a benefit company, dedicated to the improvement of Social Responsibility performance through research, education, and collaboration. For information about upcoming Leadership Roundtables, and how to get involved in this important research, please visit:  

About Imperative
Imperative is a benefit company whose Purpose Lab led the largest global research study on purpose in the workplace.  Bringing these insights into the workforce enables everyone to uncover and apply their purpose drivers and realize both their professional and societal potential. Learn more at

About Ascendant Global Leadership, LLC
AGL utilizes research-based tools to develop next-generation leaders capable of overcoming organizational challenges and achieving their personal best. Learn more at  

To learn more about the CSR research study, SHERPA Sustainability Institute, and its research partners, contact: or visit

For more information, please contact:

Phone: 970-335-9758


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