Edited by Wesley Cragg
Chapter 7: Coordinating corporate governance and corporate social responsibility
Corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) involve internal and external expressions of the operational imperatives of business firms. Whereas corporate governance generally entails principles of business efficiency, CSR involves principles of social justice. While CSR involves primarily issues of relations between business firms and the outside community, corporate governance is largely an internal matter. And while CSR concerns challenges of justice (social, economic, environmentaland so on) for those who are affected by business behavior in the world, corporate governance generally addresses internal issues of efficiency in business management within the firm. Including CSR norms in the processes for strengthening corporate governance faces challenges similar to those facing the problem of coordinating compliance between international trade and human rights standards. These difficulties stem in part from conceptual differences and assumed trade-offs between regimes of efficiency and justice, as well as from general lack of communication and collaboration between specialists involved in these different sectors of trade and human rights. While these tensions may be somewhat less pronounced in relationships between corporate governance and CSR discourses, due in part to their being subsumed under the broader rubric of company law, they are significant nonetheless. Drawing on the author’s paradigms of ‘selective adaptation’ and ‘institutional capacity,’ this chapter will examine the normative and organizational challenges to coordinating CSR norms with corporate governance practices in China. Drawing on these normative and organizational perspectives and local examples, the chapter will examine the possibilities and obstacles to coordinating CSR and corporate governance standards. The chapter will serve as a case study on the broader topic of coordinated compliance.
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