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Governance for Sustainability


  • John Elkington


Corporate governance is fundamentally about such questions as what business is for-and in whose interests companies should be run, and how. Wider issues such as business ethics through entire value chains, human rights, bribery and corruption, and climate change are among the great issues of our time that increasingly cross-cut the rarefied worlds of corporate boardrooms. As a result, a growing proportion of SustainAbility's work has seen the fusion of corporate governance with such wider societal concerns. This paper reviews the increasingly complex cross-connects between the rapidly mutating governance agenda and the burgeoning world of corporate responsibility, social entrepreneurship and sustainable development. We will move through three stages: (1) a brief review of work that SustainAbility has done in the area of corporate governance; (2) the three great waves of societal pressure on business since 1960, and where things seem likely to head next; and (3) some headline conclusions that emerged in this field from the World Economic Forum's 2006 annual summit in Davos. Copyright (c) 2006 The Author; Journal compilation (c) 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • John Elkington, 2006. "Governance for Sustainability," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(6), pages 522-529, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:14:y:2006:i:6:p:522-529

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    Cited by:

    1. Reyes Calderón & José Álvarez-Arce & Silvia Mayoral, 2009. "Corporation as a Crucial Ally Against Corruption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 319-332, April.
    2. Michelle Rodrigue & Michel Magnan & Charles Cho, 2013. "Is Environmental Governance Substantive or Symbolic? An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 107-129, April.
    3. João J. Ferreira & Cristina I. Fernandes & Marta Peres-Ortiz & Helena Alves, 2017. "Conceptualizing social entrepreneurship: perspectives from the literature," International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, Springer;International Association of Public and Non-Profit Marketing, vol. 14(1), pages 73-93, March.
    4. Andrews, Nathan, 2016. "Challenges of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in domestic settings: An exploration of mining regulation vis-à-vis CSR in Ghana," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 9-17.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:207-:d:127138 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ntim, Collins G., 2016. "Corporate governance, corporate health accounting, and firm value: The case of HIV/AIDS disclosures in Sub-Saharan Africa," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 155-216.
    7. Essah, Marcellinus & Andrews, Nathan, 2016. "Linking or de-linking sustainable mining practices and corporate social responsibility? Insights from Ghana," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 75-85.
    8. Windsor, Duane, 2009. "Tightening corporate governance," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 306-316, September.
    9. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:189-:d:126884 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Amparo Baviera-Puig & Tomás Gómez-Navarro & Mónica García-Melón & Gabriel García-Martínez, 2015. "Assessing the Communication Quality of CSR Reports. A Case Study on Four Spanish Food Companies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(8), pages 1-22, August.
    11. Kathyayini Rao & Carol Tilt, 2016. "Board Composition and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Diversity, Gender, Strategy and Decision Making," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 327-347, October.
    12. Elena-Roxana ANGHEL ILCU, 2011. "Sustainability reporting and assurance in Great Britain and France," Journal of Doctoral Research in Economics, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, vol. 3(2), pages 3-16, June.
    13. repec:eee:crpeac:v:20:y:2009:i:4:p:509-527 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Francesco Perrini & Angeloantonio Russo & Antonio Tencati & Clodia Vurro, 2011. "Deconstructing the Relationship Between Corporate Social and Financial Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 59-76, March.
    15. Hall, Jeremy K. & Daneke, Gregory A. & Lenox, Michael J., 2010. "Sustainable development and entrepreneurship: Past contributions and future directions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 439-448, September.
    16. Reefke, Hendrik & Sundaram, David, 2017. "Key themes and research opportunities in sustainable supply chain management – identification and evaluation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 66(PB), pages 195-211.

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