Human resource development (HRD) is increasingly expected to play a facilitative role in corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, and ethics in organizations. However, there is also significant skepticism concerning HRD's ability to make a contribution to these areas. It is criticized for moving away from its mission to advocate humanistic values in organizations to totally embracing a short-term business agenda. This article argues that societal HRD (SHRD) can make an important and long-lasting contribution to CSR, sustainability, and ethics through its capacity to question a continual focus by organizations on efficiency and performance. However, it must also be conscious of its business role. Both objectives must be pursued side-by-side. The article outlines a framework of activities that HRD may use to reorient the agenda, hold organizations accountable, provide leadership on CSR, sustainability, and ethics, and at the same time ensure that the organization is profitable and successful. The article summarizes the six articles that are included in this issue. © 2010 SAGE Publications
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