Balancing Business Interests with Government Interests in CSR: Government Rationality as an Explanation for Denmark's Introduction of Mandatory CSR Reporting

Chapter for 'The Balanced Company: Organizing for the 21 Century' (eds. Inger Jensen, John Damm Scheuer, Jacob Dahl Rendtorff), Gower Publishing, 2013

20 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2013

See all articles by Karin Buhmann

Karin Buhmann

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) - CBS Centre for CSR; Dpt of Management, Society and Communication

Date Written: February 23, 2013

Abstract

This article, which is published with some revisions as a book chapter, discusses the emergence of what it describes as a ‘government case for CSR.’ The article introduces the ‘government case for CSR’ as a concept to capture public policy rationality as a driving force behind governmental regulation of CSR, as opposed to the economic rationality that informs the ‘business case’ approach to CSR.

Through analysis of the legislative history of mandatory CSR reporting in Denmark, which since 2009 has been required of large companies, this chapter shows that the main effect intended by the government’s introduction of mandatory reporting was to induce self-regulation in companies towards meeting public policy objectives and filling regulatory gaps on sustainability concerns beyond the territorial reach of Danish authorities. The main effect intended by the reporting requirement should be sought neither in legal enforcement nor the mandatory character of CSR-reporting itself. Because it makes direct reference to the Global Compact and specifically defines CSR in accordance with issues that are Danish public policy concerns in relation to sustainable human and environmental development, the CSR reporting requirement presents an illuminating case on how government rationality is coming to govern CSR to the extent that the implementation of public policy objectives clearly complements business rationality in CSR.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); mandatory CSR reporting; government rationalitiy; 'Government case for CSR'; self-regulation; regulatory strategy

Suggested Citation

Buhmann, Karin, Balancing Business Interests with Government Interests in CSR: Government Rationality as an Explanation for Denmark's Introduction of Mandatory CSR Reporting (February 23, 2013). Chapter for 'The Balanced Company: Organizing for the 21 Century' (eds. Inger Jensen, John Damm Scheuer, Jacob Dahl Rendtorff), Gower Publishing, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2358858

Karin Buhmann (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) - CBS Centre for CSR; Dpt of Management, Society and Communication ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.cbs.dk/en/research/departments-and-centres/department-of-intercultural-communication-and-

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