Governing the Socially Responsible Corporation - A Gandhian Perspective
Bala N. Balasubramanian
IIM Bangalore - Centre for Corporate Governance and Citizensip; Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
November 9, 2009
BUSINESS, ETHICS AND SOCIETY - MANAGING RESPONSIBLY, Ananda Das Gupta, ed., Sage Publications, Singapore, 2010
There is increasing evidence of migration towards an integrated model of governance which is sensitive to the needs of the society even as it emphasizes the imperatives of shareholder wealth creation, its accounting and reporting, and equitable distribution. While much of this transformation is usually credited to initiatives from the developed markets of the west, there is in fact a large measure of such wisdom and counsel available in the Indian tradition, and Gandhi has been among its foremost exponents and interlocutors in modern times. Gandhian concepts of trusteeship, truth, non-violence, and satyagraha or truth-force are in perfect sync with, but go much farther than, the modern expectations of corporate stewardship that stands for caring for other peoples’ money and resources entrusted to the care of corporate directors and executive management, transparency and accountability, eschewing physical and emotional violence at the work place as well as against natural and environmental resources, and for upright and conscientious behavior on the part of directors in doing what they are convinced to be in the best interest of all shareholders and other stakeholders. If corporations would seriously consider adapting and living up to these principles in their governance structures and systems, there would indeed be little need for punitive regulation on the part of the State.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: Corporate Governance, Corporate Responsibility, Social Responsibility, Gandhi, Truth, Non Violence, Satyagraha, Corporate Stewardship, India, Transparency, Accountability, Regulation, Environment
JEL Classification: G3, G34, G39, M14Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 9, 2009
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