21st Century Corporate Social Responsibility Trends - An Emerging Comparative Body of Law and Regulation on Corporate Responsibility, Governance, and Sustainability
Macquarie Journal of Business Law, Vol. 4, pp. 85-122, 2007
38 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2008
This article examines key aspects of the emergence across a number of jurisdictions of a distinctive body of comparative corporate law and regulation relating to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The story of CSR in the 21st century is a story of progressive business sensitization to systems and dynamics of governance beyond government, regulation beyond law, and responsiveness beyond responsibility. It is a story of a rapidly growing alignment across many individual businesses, industry sectors, and geopolitical regions between those systems and dynamics of governance, regulation, and responsibility, on one hand, and a company's business model, strategy, and impact, on the other. It marks the progressive development of corporations as organs of both societal and corporate governance, sites for the interaction of both public and private interests, participants in various forms of organisationally and societally orientated regulation, and holders of shared, relational, and other forms of connected outward-looking and inward-looking responsibilities. It is also a story of the emergence of a distinctive CSR movement. Both the developed and developing worlds are rapidly reaching the point where they must decide if today's global CSR movement is a passing social fad, a threat to economically efficient corporate capitalism, an intrinsic element of corporate responsibility, or even a key to humanity's long-term survival. CSR literacy is quickly becoming a primary imperative for a variety of actors in a multiplicity of roles across governmental, business, and community sectors nationally and internationally.
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