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Boards, Incentives and Corporate Social Responsibility: the case for a change of emphasis

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  • Craig Mackenzie
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    Abstract

    Boards of large UK companies are devoting more time to the governance of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This is in line with the Combined Code on Corporate Governance's requirement that boards set standards and values for companies and ensure they meet their social obligations. But is board activity in this area as effective as it could be at achieving corporate compliance with CSR standards? This paper draws on the economic literature to offer an analysis of the primary causes of breaches of corporate responsibility standards. Based on a small survey of the board CSR activities of 20 of Britain's largest companies, it assesses whether boards are addressing these causes effectively. The tentative conclusion is that board activity might usefully be reoriented to do more to address the fundamental incentives problems that often cause corporate responsibility failures, namely market failure and misaligned performance management systems. Copyright (c) 2007 The Author; Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Corporate Governance: An International Review.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 5 (09)
    Pages: 935-943

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:15:y:2007:i:5:p:935-943

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    Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0964-8410&site=1

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    Cited by:
    1. Lippert, Inge, 2008. "Perspektivenverschiebungen in der Corporate Governance: Neuere Ans├Ątze und Studien der Corporate-Governance-Forschung," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Knowledge, Production Systems and Work SP III 2008-302, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Y. Fassin & D. Gossselin, 2011. "The collapse of a European bank in the financial crisis: an analysis from strategic, stakeholder, ethical and governance perspectives," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/726, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. Jose-Manuel Prado-Lorenzo & Isabel-Maria Garcia-Sanchez, 2010. "The Role of the Board of Directors in Disseminating Relevant Information on Greenhouse Gases," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(3), pages 391-424, December.

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