Network Governance as a Lever for Improved Corporate Social Responsibility

39 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2012

See all articles by Michael Pirson

Michael Pirson

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business; Humanistic Management Network; Harvard University

Shann Turnbull

International Institute for Self-Governance; Sustainable Money Working Group; New Garden City Alliance

Date Written: April 14, 2012


In this paper we explore the question of corporate governance and its connection with CSR.We outline why a traditional governance architecture (e.g. unitary board structures) fails to support monitoring and strategic advice functions concerning CSR of the board adequately. We then provide our perspective on network governance and highlight how it provides better monitoring and strategic advice with regard to CSR. Finally, we suggest how network governance can be introduced by amendments to the corporate charter. We thus contribute theoretically by advancing the conceptualization of corporate governance and CSR as well as by providing alternative thinking on governance structures. We contribute practically by advancing concrete suggestions for implementation of network governance in ways that can supplement or replace the need for external laws and regulations. As such we aim to support theoretical and practical advances for better governance and higher levels of CSR.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Constitutions, Corporate Social Responsibility, Self-governance, Stakeholder Engagement

JEL Classification: D8, G3, M1, M14

Suggested Citation

Pirson, Michael and Turnbull, Shann, Network Governance as a Lever for Improved Corporate Social Responsibility (April 14, 2012). Fordham University Schools of Business Research Paper No. 2039761, Available at SSRN: or

Michael Pirson (Contact Author)

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10018
United States

Humanistic Management Network ( email )

St. Gallen

Harvard University

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Shann Turnbull

International Institute for Self-Governance ( email )

PO Box 266 Woollahra
Cell: +61418222378
Sydney, New South Wales 1350
+61293278487 (Phone)
+61280655905 (Fax)

SKYPE: shann.turnbull

Sustainable Money Working Group ( email )

Holyoake House
Hanover Street
Manchester, M60 0AS
United Kingdom

New Garden City Alliance ( email )

113 Guinness Court
London, UK, SE1 3TA
United Kingdom
+44 207 378 1902 (Phone)


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