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Corporate Social Responsibility

Perspectives for Sustainable Corporate Governance

Catherine Malecki

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is setting new missions for companies and shining a welcome light on issues such as the behaviour of board members, shared value, the well-being of stakeholders, the protection of vulnerable individuals and the roles played by public opinion and shareholders. This timely book seeks to lay the foundations for a sustainable corporate governance based on the European Commission definition of CSR as ‘the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society’. More generally, this sustainable corporate governance responds to some of the pressing challenges of the 21st century, from sustainable finance and climate change to carbon reduction and population growth.
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Chapter 5: Review of questions

Perspectives for Sustainable Corporate Governance

Catherine Malecki

Extract

Corporate governance has reached an important juncture in its development. After nearly a century of theoretical work in the United States and its subsequent transplantation in Europe, it has now collided with CSR to create a “new school” form of corporate governance. Stakeholder theory has been incorporated into this new type of corporate governance, with objectives focusing on transparency and disclosure and thinking around how to create an effective board of directors. In its resolution of 16 June 2010 on the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU highlighted the “inextricable link between corporate responsibility and corporate governance”. This link paves the way to a behavioural corporate governance that is based on information, the prevention of conflicts of interest, the importance of the work done by boards of directors and pay transparency. Listed companies’ corporate governance codes will have to factor in CSR requirements that will in turn involve weighing up and prioritising stakeholders’ differing interests. This raises a totally new question: can CSR open up a third way between shareholder primacy and stakeholder theory? This book seeks to provide an answer to this question.

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