About the Self-Assessment & Improvement Process (SAIP)
The SAIP is a comprehensive, systematic self-appraisal that helps executives and directors address the growing expectation that for-profit and not-for-profit firms will conduct their affairs in an ethically responsible manner. The SAIP enables these leaders to identify issues and implement improvement efforts in the areas of corporate ethics, corporate social responsibility, and corporate governance.
An Overview of the SAIP
The SAIP is modeled after the organizational assessment and improvement process pioneered by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program. The SAIP extends the Baldrige approach to business ethics.
The SAIP allows a company to perform a self-appraisal that is thorough, systematic and quantitative. The SAIP uses the Baldrige method to transform a set of ethical principles into a structured inventory of questions about a company’s operations. Answering these questions provides leaders with a systematic profile of the processes and practices that drive their organization’s conduct on vital issues of corporate ethics, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance.
This qualitative information helps the organization better understand how its operations impact such stakeholders as customers, employees, investors, suppliers, competitors and communities. By comparing its answers to a series of quantification guidelines, the organization also can develop a set of scores that characterizes its current level of performance on specific dimensions of ethical conduct. These scores permit leaders to identify areas of relative strength and opportunities for improvement.
In its current design, the SAIP employs the Caux Round Table Principles for Business, a global standard for ethical conduct articulated by business leaders from Japan, Europe and the United States. The Principles for Business are based substantially upon a statement of responsible business behavior known as the Minnesota Principles. The Minnesota Principles were developed by Minnesota executives in collaboration with the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, faculty members of the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business and others.
The SAIP is available in three versions, levels I, II and III. These differ in the amount of detail contained within the self-appraisal. The simplest version of the process allows an organization to perform a rudimentary self-assessment within two to four hours.
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Additional Information About the SAIP
- Testing of prototype versions of the SAIP began in 2002. Approximately 20 companies participated in this process, which continued through 2005. The lessons from these tests lead to extensive revision of the SAIP's design during 2006.
- The SAIP is available in three versions or formats: a survey (level I), a comprehensive version (level III) and a "midsized" version (level II). The three versions differ primarily in the level of detail contained within the assessment portion of the process – the more detailed the assessment, the more thorough and concrete the feedback resulting from the SAIP.
- EQuiz, a short, online ethics exam that is based on the SAIP, is available online.
- Interested in learning more?
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