False dawn for CSR? Shifts in regulatory policy and the response of the corporate and financial sectors in Britain
We present a model of CSR as a set of mechanisms for aligning corporate behaviour with the interests of society in reducing externalities and promoting a sustainable corporate sector. These mechanisms include voluntary action by companies to go above minimum legal standards, with the aim of enhancing competitiveness ('action beyond compliance'); interventions by regulators designed to promote self-regulation by industry ('reflexive law'); and steps taken by shareholders to put pressure on companies to make effective use of corporate assets (shareholder engagement). We then assess the degree to which the model is realized in current British practice. Focusing on the issue of working conditions, we find managerial resistance to the linking of CSR with internal employee relations, and obstacles to shareholder engagement on this issue.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2006|
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