Re-embedding the Corporation in Society and on Our Planet: Company Law as a Vehicle for Change

Chapter 12 in Beate Sjåfjell, Carol Liao and Aikaterini Argyrou (eds), Innovating Business for Sustainability: Regulatory Approaches in the Anthropocene (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022).

University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2022-23

Posted: 14 Jan 2022 Last revised: 23 Sep 2022

See all articles by Beate Sjåfjell

Beate Sjåfjell

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law; College of Europe - European Legal Studies Department

Date Written: January 13, 2022

Abstract

The corporation needs to be ‘re-embedded’ in society and on our planet. Business is an integral element of the disembedding from society, through the way the corporation, a dominant legal form for undertaking business, has been conceptualised in the dominant legal-economic theories. This has formed the basis for and has been exacerbated through the social norm of shareholder primacy. Re-embedding the corporation requires a reconceptualisation of corporation’s role in society and the environment, and challenging a deeply gendered approach not only within business but also within sustainability science. Employing an interdisciplinarity feminist sustainability perspective, I make the case for using company law as a lever to re-embed the corporation through the embedding into the core of company law, key societal concepts of sustainability, drawing on sustainability research. The reform proposals concentrate on EU law but the reform ideas and the basis for them are of global relevance.

Keywords: sustainable value creation, planetary boundaries, corporate governance, corporate law, corporate boards, sustainability due diligence

Suggested Citation

Sjåfjell, Beate, Re-embedding the Corporation in Society and on Our Planet: Company Law as a Vehicle for Change (January 13, 2022). Chapter 12 in Beate Sjåfjell, Carol Liao and Aikaterini Argyrou (eds), Innovating Business for Sustainability: Regulatory Approaches in the Anthropocene (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022). , University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2022-23, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4008062

Beate Sjåfjell (Contact Author)

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavsplass
Oslo, 0130
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.jus.uio.no/ifp/english/people/aca/beatesj/

College of Europe - European Legal Studies Department ( email )

Dijver 11
B-8000 Brugge, Oost Vlanderen 10000
Belgium

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