Corporate Social Responsibility Redux
20 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2009
The sixties and early seventies were turbulent times. Opposition to the Vietnam War, the environmental and civil rights movements, and radicalism generally roiled the corporate world, as much as the world at large. These disparate strands coalesced into the "corporate social responsibility movement," culminating in strident advocacy of federal chartering of large corporations, mandatory public interest directors, and required social accounting and disclosure. Suddenly, though, the law and economics movement eclipsed (vanquished?, obliterated?) the corporate social responsibility movement. In this Essay, professor Branson recounts events and ideas of those bygone days. He then reviews evidence that a more muted, and international, responsibility movement is well underway in this, the new Millennium. A principal feature of that movement is that, unlike in the early1970s, the social responsibility issue is seen as converging with, rather than diverging from, broader trends in corporate governance, most specifically the "good governance" movement, which has been underfoot in many countries around the globe for well over a decade now.
Keywords: corporate governance, corporate social responsibility movement, corporate responsibility, social responsibility, corporate social accounting, good governance movement, disclosure
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