The Grass is Always Greener: Reflecting on Global Disparity in Corporate Social Responsibility

(2011) 18 Commerical Law Practitioner 151

Queen's University Belfast Law Research Paper No. 2013-05

11 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2013 Last revised: 27 Apr 2013

See all articles by Ciara Hackett

Ciara Hackett

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law; Queen's University Belfast - School of Law

Date Written: April 15, 2011

Abstract

The corporate landscape is ever changing. From the idea that the social responsibility of business was solely profit maximisation, toward the approach today, encompassing the inter-relationships of business, state and voluntary sectors through sets of relationships that transcend the nation state, the role of the corporation in society is being constantly remoulded to incorporate changes in said society. This evolution has benefitted many through the various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes that have been promoted by various Multinational Corporations (MNCs).

This article argues that whereas many have benefitted from these policies, social responsibility can only be a by-product of the corporation. CSR exists as a powerful marketing tool and merely represents the repackaging of profit maximisation. This article will track the development of CSR in recent years. Noting that there is some disparity in regional trends for CSR, the article will then focus on how governments have enhanced the development of CSR practise within their nation states. This highlights a significant issue: if corporations are truly global in nature, why is there such a disparity over the level and intensity of CSR in differing nation states? As this article suggests, the role of government, the rise in power of the multinational corporation, together with the “strength” of that economy, the size of the population in that region, all impact on how robust, or otherwise, CSR is. What this highlights therefore is that CSR cannot be a form of regulation in its own right, and instead is a tool for profit maximisation, with social good being a by-product.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Ireland, Globalisation

Suggested Citation

Hackett, Ciara, The Grass is Always Greener: Reflecting on Global Disparity in Corporate Social Responsibility (April 15, 2011). (2011) 18 Commerical Law Practitioner 151 , Queen's University Belfast Law Research Paper No. 2013-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2251097

Ciara Hackett (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT7 1NN
Ireland

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