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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) often involves the development of network relations as both private and government actors invest in and draw upon social capital (Habisch & Moon, 2006). CSR necessitates legal compliance as well as ‘customary ethics ’ (Carroll, 1991). In this context, it seems that a motivation for CSR may be borne out as a necessity to offset the threat of regulation. ‘Many companies prefer to be one step ahead of government legislation or intervention, to anticipate social pressures themselves’, (Moon & Richardson, 1985, p. 137 in Crane, Matten, & Spence, 2008, p. 308). Therefore, non-governmental organisations (NGOs ) sought to step into the regulatory vacuum created by the inadequacies of both national governments and international institutions to regulate multinational corporations (MNCs ) by forging alliances with consumers, institutional investors and companies themselves (Newell, 2000, pp. 117–118). While they cannot replace the role of the state, these social movements have created new mechanisms of global business regulation. According to Knill and Lehmkuhl (2002, p. 442); global corporate responsibility is intended to compensate for the decreasing capacities of national governments for providing public goods. CSR may have represented an effort to challenge the increasing reluctance of national governments to impose regulations on global firms that could have discouraged domestic investment. Hence, the aim of this chapter is to better understand how business and government may become more aligned with regards to the regulatory aspect of CSR. This contribution suggests that there is scope for governments to take an active leading role in triggering responsible behaviours among firms. The businesses themselves will realise that appropriate environmental , social and governance regulations can bring in economic value as well.
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- International Policies and Regulatory Instruments for Non-financial Reporting
Mark Anthony Camilleri
- Chapter 2
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