Degrees of Integration

BITC’s Degrees of Integration framework is a comprehensive checklist of things that companies must consider when developing and implementing their business strategy if it is to support a responsible business approach.

Degrees of Integration diagram: Click for bigger version

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The framework has been developed by in-house experts, taking account of leading thinking from a wide range of sources, and critiqued by senior and highly experienced practitioners. It has been tried and tested, and forms the basis for assessment of BITC’s Responsible Business of the Year Award, BITC’s most prestigious award. 

Using this framework, the degree to which responsible business is integrated into a company's overall business strategy can be assessed, and suggestions given on how to take its approach to the next level.

  • The framework begins by looking at a company’s approach to responsible business. That approach is described in the broad characteristics that BITC would expect to see within a responsible business strategy.
    We see the broad characterisics of a successful responsible business strategy as: Visionary, Integrated and Challenging; and also addressing Material Issues.  (See more detail on these characteristics).

  • It then describes the mechanisms to support the approach. 
    BITC would expect to see the following mechanisms covered by a responsible business strategy: Leadership, Values, Stakeholder Engagement, Employee Engagement, Collaboration, Innovation, Governance and Metrics. (See more detail on these mechanisms)

  • The framework then suggests how the effectiveness of the strategy should be monitored and communicated. These elements inform future strategy development and need to be considered in the overall strategic approach.
    BITC sees the elements needed to monitor and communicate the effectiveness of a responsible business strategy as: Impact Measurement, Benchmarking, Reporting, Brand & External Communications. (See more details of these elements).

  • The framework also has a second dimension, that of the level of a company's attainment on each of these elements
    BITC has identified four levels: Starting, Accelerating, Leading and Shaping. 

Next Steps

Option 1: The framework can be used as a starting point for a conversation led by your Corporate Adviser that will:

  • Guide senior managers through the framework to assess your organisation’s strategic approach to responsible business, covering breadth and depth.

  • Provide you with a vision of what responsible business looks like for your company.

  • Identify key barriers to change that your organisation will need to address to take your approach to the next level.

Option 2: Your Corporate Adviser can review your current strategy and assess the degree to which responsible business has been taken into account.  Feedback includes a written document which identifies strengths in your approach and provides comments and suggestions of how to take your responsible business approach to the next level.