Battling Corruption within a Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy
24 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2011
Date Written: July 15, 2010
The following analysis falls into three sections. Having established the conceptual and ethical groundwork in Part One, Part Two contains an analysis of CSR principles. Part Three examines the role of CSR in battling unethical behavior, especially corruption, through anti-corruption policies and other measures for combating this phenomenon with particular emphasis on the 2003 United Nations (U.N.) Convention against Corruption.
To clarify the analysis, this article focuses on the following two sets of inquiries: First, are corporations cognizant of the relevant anti-corruption conventions and soft-law instruments? How do they perceive these measures? What impact, if any, have these conventions had on companies? Have corporations adjusted or changed their behavior as a result? Second, have corporations voluntarily adopted codes of conduct or other internal measures that promote CSR? Do these measures include a commitment to confronting bribery or corrupt behavior internally and on the part of their agents and those in their supply chain? Is CSR a useful and effective tool in tackling corruption generally? If so, to what extent? This Note concludes in Part Four by arguing that CSR should be a priority among practitioners in fighting unethical corporate behavior.
“The advent of globalization has brought about unprecedented changes in the pace and nature of business practices in both the community market place and the work place. In the context of an evermore connected and inter-reliant world, intense demand for economic growth pressures societies to address myriad environmental, economic, social, and health issues facing populations, businesses, and governments.”
Nothing erodes sustainable economic development more than corruption. Given its systemic pervasiveness, the private sector plays a critical role and has a vested interest in assuming social as well as economic responsibility. Though implementation rests firmly in the hands of national governments, corporations cannot ignore their critical role in creating a sustainable anti-corruption initiative. Looking ahead, companies face several challenges.
However, the private sector can generate viable solutions to fight corruption by serving as a role model to the larger business community. Through collaboration with government and civil society in knowledge-sharing forums, through creation of an ethical corporate culture via increased responsibilities, and through innovative solutions to reduce the risk of corruption in corporate governance, the private sector can make a significant impact. CSR practitioners must prioritize the battle against corruption. It is important to focus on specific goals and policies and build upon the current mechanisms developed by the international community, especially the U.N. Convention.The CSR movement possesses the potential to strengthen commitments made by state parties by developing model theories into everyday business practice. Therefore, it should be concerned with protecting and promoting integrity, stability, and good governance while encouraging the disruption and control of serious crime. Through such commitments, states will increase the well being of their national economies, institutions and enterprises and promote a better understanding of the real and practical risks facing business today.
Keywords: Bribes, Kickbacks, Corporate Social Responsibility ("CSR"),Corruption, Ethical Leadership, Market Competition, Corporate Governance, Legal Morality, United Nations Global Compact ("UNGC"), United Nations Convention Aganist Corruption ("UNCAC"), Globalization, Crime, and International Market Economy
JEL Classification: M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation