Industry Update
Opinion Article 2 October 2020

Duty of Care Benchmarking Tool

By Cathy A. Enz, Lewis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Professor of Innovation & Dynamic Management Strategy at Cornell University and Gary Thompson, Professor of operations management in the Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA)

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For any organization, "Duty of Care" is the obligation to avoid or diminish any reasonably foreseen harm to customers and employees resulting from exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This obligation includes reducing or eliminating the spread of the disease. Standards in the form of protocols, processes, guidelines, and actions are currently being proposed and implemented by governments and organizations to "take care" to prevent infection and harm. Standards of care help to regulate employee behavior by providing clear expectations of behavior and decision-making criteria. Formalizing rules, procedures, standards, processes, and guidelines serve as a compliment to managerial oversight and help companies run smoothly with improved efficiency and coherence in Duty of Care activities.

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Cathy A. Enz

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Gary Thompson

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