Does Company Ownership Matter?

Does Company Ownership Matter?

The Cournot Centre series

Edited by Jean-Philippe Touffut

Do modes of management depend on company ownership? Does macroeconomic performance rely on shareholder value? The contributions collected in this book explore these questions from economic, historical and legal perspectives. They examine company ownership through the study of national institutions, with particular focus on North America and Europe. The twelve economic and legal specialists of this volume seek to explain why firms organized along the shareholder model have not outperformed other forms of ownership. Answers lie in the historical and institutional background of each country.

Chapter 6: Corporate Social Responsibility as a Contractarian Model of Multi-stakeholder Corporate Governance: Normative Principles and Equilibrium Properties

Lorenzo Sacconi

Subjects: business and management, corporate governance, economics and finance, corporate governance, industrial organisation


6. Corporate social responsibility as a contractarian model of multistakeholder corporate governance: normative principles and equilibrium properties Lorenzo Sacconi1 INTRODUCTION The aim of this chapter is to develop a fully-fledged theory of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that is both normatively convincing and which provides an implementable model of multi-stakeholder corporate governance. My use of ‘normative’ here lies in the same vein as welfare economics and economic ethics: it is concerned with proposals of desirable reforms of economic institutions that improve social well-being and consistency with social justice and fairness according to an ethical assessment based on the idea of impartial, ex ante unanimous agreement, in other words, the ‘social contract’.2 Questions about the implementation of a given normative model, such as what kind of rules should provide for it, what incentives and individual motivations should support it, whether or not legal enforcement should be required, and whether it may rely on selfenforceability are important as well. I shall define the normative model in the first part of the chapter and develop a theory of implementation in the second. In the last three sections, I shall outline a multiple strategy for solving the problem of endogeneity and self-sustainability of a CSR norm or social standard understood according to the normative model. From the normative perspective, a CSR theory should answer the following questions. Is the proposed normative model uniquely defined? Does it provide a clear-cut normative meaning? How can it solve possible clashes among legitimate claims and interests that risk making...

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