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Über dieses Buch

Even though Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a widely accepted concept promoted by different stakeholders, business corporations' internal strategies, known as corporate self-regulation in most of the weak economies, respond poorly to this responsibility. Major laws relating to corporate regulation and responsibilities of these economies do not possess adequate ongoing influence to insist on corporate self-regulation to create a socially responsible corporate culture.

This book describes how the laws relating to CSR could contribute to the inclusion of CSR principles at the core of the corporate self-regulation of these economies in general, without being intrusive in normal business practice. It formulates a meta-regulation approach to law, particularly by converging patterns of private ordering and state control in contemporary corporate law from the perspective of a weak economy. It proposes that this approach is suitable for alleviating regulators' limited access to information and expertise, inherent limitations of prescriptive rules, ensuring corporate commitment, and enhance the self-regulatory capacity of companies.

This book describes various meta-regulation strategies for laws to link social values to economic incentives and disincentives, and to indirectly influence companies to incorporate CSR principles at the core of their self-regulation strategies. It investigates this phenomenon using Bangladesh as a case study.



Chapter 1. Introducing the Book

CSR generally refers to social, economic, environmental and stakeholder responsibilities that companies should undertake in their activities. It is a strong component of new business and corporate governance (CG) models for long-term sustainability and for the development of socially responsible corporate culture. It has converged with the new trend of CG and contributed to the shifting of the traditional notion of CG to a vehicle for pursuing corporate management to consider broader public policy goals.

Mia Mahmudur Rahim

Chapter 2. Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Governance and Corporate Regulation

CSR is increasingly an essential issue for companies. It is a complex and multi-dimensional organisational phenomenon that is understood as the scope for which, and the ways in which, an organisation is consciously responsible for its actions and non-actions and their impact on its stakeholders. It represents not just a change to the commercial setting in which individual companies operates, but also a pragmatic response of a company to its consumers and society. It is increasingly being understood as a means by which companies may endeavour to achieve a balance between their efforts to generate profits and the societies that they impact in these efforts. This chapter discusses these issues. First, it describes CSR and its core principles. Second, it describes CG and narrates CG’s convergence with CSR. Third, it highlights how different economies are incorporating CSR notions in their corporate regulation.

Mia Mahmudur Rahim

Chapter 3. The Theoretical Basis for the Implementation of CSR Principles Through Legal Regulation

There are many ways of examining CSR, although as yet there is no single generally accepted, fully specified concept encompassing its practices. Contemporary scholars of CSR have shown that the voluntary mode of practising CSR is predominant. However, there are opponents of this mode, especially in the weak economies in which the non-legal drivers in society are sparse. In these circumstances, establishing a theoretical basis for implementing CSR through legislation is difficult, but important. It is difficult, since legal regulation could be detrimental to business development if it narrows the scope of innovation in business and becomes a barrier to companies’ usual business practices in the post-regulatory world. It is important, since the public interest groups—who are sceptical of the role of companies’ voluntary responsibility for social development—need a theoretical basis to demonstrate instances of corporate irresponsibility to society in an articulate manner. This chapter presents a detailed discussion of several theories to establish that a normative basis exists for implementing CSR principles through legal regulation.

Mia Mahmudur Rahim

Chapter 4. Legal Strategies for Incorporating CSR Principles in Corporate Self-Regulation

Developing a normative strategy for incorporating CSR in corporate self-regulation through legal regulation is difficult but important. It is difficult, as legal regulation could be detrimental to business development if it narrows the scope of innovation in business and becomes a barrier to companies’ usual business practices. It is important, as civil society, being sceptical of the role of companies’ voluntary responsibility for social development, needs this normative basis to further the arguments for CSR in a well-articulated manner. The previous chapter has discussed the theoretical basis for incorporating CSR principles in corporate self-regulation. This chapter discusses the basis and type of regulatory strategies for this incorporation. It presents the ‘third perspective’ as the normative basis for implementing CSR principles in corporate self-regulation through legal regulation.

Mia Mahmudur Rahim

Chapter 5. A Meta-regulation Approach to Laws to Incorporate CSR Principles in Corporate Self-Regulation

How, and to what extent, legal regulation matters in developing social responsibility in companies are long debated questions. In the corporate regulation landscape, while some legal regulation reformers have argued that the prescriptive mode of regulation has failed to facilitate, reward, or encourage companies to go beyond their profit-centred behaviour, others have argued that relying only on corporate self-regulation is not a viable approach to enable the incorporation of social values in corporate behaviour in the absence of non-legal social drivers. In the context of this dilemma, meta-regulation is a comparatively new regulatory approach that encourages companies to transcend their social responsibilities. Its normative base is built on the arguments of the ‘third perspective’ discussed in the previous chapter of this book. The core of this regulatory approach is the fusion of the responsive and reflexive modes of regulation to merge the patterns of private ordering and state control in contemporary corporate regulation. This chapter describes this approach to assist legal regulation to ensure social values are accepted as a central corporate responsibility from the perspective of a weak economy.

Mia Mahmudur Rahim

Chapter 6. Legal Regulation of CSR in Weak Economies: The Case of Bangladesh

The aim of this chapter is to assess the extent to which laws relating to CSR in Bangladesh might contribute to including CSR as a central theme in self-regulated corporate responsibility. It explains why the major Bangladeshi laws relating to corporate regulation and responsibility do not possess the required features necessary to compel corporate self-regulators to contribute to developing a socially responsible corporate culture in this country. It argues that development of a socially responsible corporate culture in Bangladesh should not rely on either corporate self-regulation or authoritative modes of regulation. Rather, this should be based on a combination of

force majeure

and economic incentive-based legal strategies, as long as civil society, the media, NGOs, and the consumers of Bangladesh are able to systematically monitor corporate self-regulation.

Mia Mahmudur Rahim

Chapter 7. Concluding This Book

The basis of corporate responsibility has reached a new level with the transition from the question of why corporations must be socially responsible to that of how they can become socially responsible. At this level, issues of CSR are being integrated into the core policy objectives of global companies which are also moving beyond their individual business initiatives. Strong and developing economies have begun incorporating CSR principles within their socio-economic strategies and are also integrating these principles into the very fabric of their national economies.

Mia Mahmudur Rahim


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