The Three Pillars of Corporate Social Reporting as New Governance Regulation: Disclosure, Dialogue and Development

61 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2008 Last revised: 8 Sep 2008

See all articles by David Hess

David Hess

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Date Written: July 1, 2008

Abstract

In this article I examine corporate social reporting as a form of New Governance regulation termed democratic experimentalism. Due to the challenges of regulating the behavior of corporations on issues related to sustainable economic development, New Governance regulation - which has a focus on decentralized, participatory, problem-solving-based approaches to regulation - is presented as an option to traditional command-and-control regulation. By examining the role of social reporting under a New Governance approach, I set out three necessary requirements for social reporting to be effective: disclosure, dialogue with stakeholders, and the moral development of the corporation. I then assess current social reporting practices against these requirements and find significant problems. In response, I propose one option for solving those problems, and encourage future researchers to consider the demands of these three requirements and the possible trade-offs between them when attempting to find ways to improve social reporting practices.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, Global Reporting Initiative, social reporting, sustainability reporting, regulation

JEL Classification: G38, K20, K29, L50, M14

Suggested Citation

Hess, David, The Three Pillars of Corporate Social Reporting as New Governance Regulation: Disclosure, Dialogue and Development (July 1, 2008). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1112. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1176882 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1176882

David Hess (Contact Author)

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States
734-763-9779 (Phone)

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