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The Three Pillars of Corporate Social Reporting as New Governance Regulation: Disclosure, Dialogue, and Development


  • Hess, David


In this article I examine corporate social reporting as a form of New Governance regulation termed “democratic experimentalism.†Due to the challenges of regulating the behavior of corporations on issues related to sustainable economic development, New Governance regulation—which has a focus on decentralized, participatory, problem-solving-based approaches to regulation—is presented as an option to traditional command-and-control regulation. By examining the role of social reporting under a New Governance approach, I set out three necessary requirements for social reporting to be effective: disclosure, dialogue with stakeholders, and the moral development of the corporation. I then assess current social reporting practices against these requirements and find significant problems. In response, I propose one option for solving those problems, and encourage future researchers to consider the demands of these three requirements and the possible trade-offs between them when attempting to find ways to improve social reporting practices.

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  • Hess, David, 2008. "The Three Pillars of Corporate Social Reporting as New Governance Regulation: Disclosure, Dialogue, and Development," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 447-482, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:buetqu:v:18:y:2008:i:04:p:447-482_01

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