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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 8: Dialogue with stakeholders

Perspectives for Sustainable Corporate Governance

Catherine Malecki

Extract

The role of stakeholders was enshrined in the French law of 27 March 2017 on parent and contracting companies’ duty of care and is a clear incentive to establish a participatory and collective form of corporate governance. However, stakeholder theory, which has proved hugely successful in management science (stakeholder management), requires a more legal definition of the term “stakeholder” if we are to be able to prioritise their interests. This definition must be functional and refer in broad terms to a person or organisation that has a legitimate interest in a project or entity. By “mapping” stakeholders, we will be able to assess the conditions in which they could contribute to making sustainable corporate governance more effective. An operational (“involve, protect”) criterion will be needed to weigh up and prioritise the interests of different stakeholders and will have to take account of the vulnerability and “well-being” of certain people (particularly employees).

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