Debates, Models and Practices Across Government, Law and Business
Chapter 6: Sensitizing Boardroom Obligations to Corporate Social Responsibility
COMPARATIVE 21ST CENTURY TRENDS IN REGULATING BOARDROOM OBLIGATIONS Internationally, there is a growing realization that directing enterprises with integrity must be taken seriously if we are to have effective wealth-generating, and public service delivering, organizations. The future realization of a ‘civil society’ depends on it. Across the world the general public and politicians are realizing that matters cannot continue as they are for boards of directors . . . There are two signiﬁcant pressures for change which will bring about a transformation. First, the demand for more ‘shareholder democracy’ needs to be accommodated if boards are to answer the public’s perception that boards tend to put their own interests before their shareholders’ . . . The second pressure for change is political intervention in corporate affairs on behalf of the general public, which is manifested increasingly through the growing debate on the ‘shareholder/stakeholder’ balance in corporate governance. –Best-selling corporate governance writer Bob Garratt, The Fish Rots From The Head (The Crisis in Our Boardrooms – Developing the Crucial Skills of the Competent Director)1 CSR is progressively making its presence felt in the legal and regulatory frameworks underpinning corporate governance, boardroom decision-making and business reporting in Europe, North America and the broader Commonwealth. In this way, the development of corporate regulatory systems bears the hallmarks of the wider CSR movement’s impact upon corporate law and regulation as a whole.2 The transnational examples of this trajectory are reaching critical mass, as illustrated in this chapter. In the ongoing 21st century roll-out of Europe’s broad CSR agenda, recent...
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