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AbstractThis book - one in the four-volume set, Global Governance and the Quest for Justice - focuses on the role of corporations in an increasingly globalised world. Against the backcloth of perceived abuse of corporate power - alleged violations of human rights, degradation of the environment, abuse of labour, Enron-style financial scandals, and the like - the chapters in this collection examine the nature and function of the corporation as well as the way in which we should understand corporate governance and the power of transnational corporations. Central to the question is the issue of accountability, as well as the questions of social and environmental responsibility - here the authors ask whether corporations should be more accountable relative to the broader public interest, and suggest that public law approaches to accountability may offer a way forward. Consideration is also given to the most appropriate regulatory locus (local, regional, or international) and the most effective form of response to the deficit in corporate responsibility and the abuse of corporate power. For example, are transnational corporations most effectively regulated internationally (e.g., by the United Nations), regionally (e.g., by the EU or NAFTA) or locally (e.g., through stringent reporting requirements and implementation of triple bottom line standards)?
CitationIn: MacLeod, S. (Ed.), Global Governance and the Quest for Justice - Volume II, 47-72.
PublisherOxford: Hart Publishing
TypeChapter in book
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
An Investigation of CSR as a Source of Corporate Political PowerTsemo, Victor (2015-09-01)In political philosophy, power and responsibility are known to be two sides of the same coin. Yet surprisingly, corporate political power has not been strongly featured in the long-standing debate surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), despite the parallel debate on the influence of business in policy-making. The political dimension of CSR and its intrinsic relationship with Corporate Political Power (CPP) has been under-researched. This thesis adds to the CSR debate by investigating the processes and mechanisms by which CSR activities contribute to the power of the firm in the political arena, in the context of the British construction industry. Drawing on the literature on power, political activity and extended corporate citizenship, a conceptual model of the relationship between CSR and CPP was developed. The model was underpinned by insights from the Institutional Theory, the Resource Dependence Theory, and the Resource-Based View of the firm. Using a hybrid constructivist-realism epistemology and a processbased analysis, three exploratory case studies were carried out in construction companies operating in the UK. Data were collected through archival research and semi-structured interviews, and analysed by means of within and cross-case analyses. The results revealed that the political environment of the firm was analogous to a marketplace where companies traded political goods with policy-makers. CSR activities produced four political goods, namely public image, technical expertise, social capital and indebtedness, which were identified as the mechanisms by which CSR contributed to CPP. The impacts of CSR activities on CPP were three-fold: CSR strengthened the privileged structural position of companies; helped them gain easier access to policy-makers; and this privileged access gave companies more opportunities to influence regulatory outcomes. The key theoretical contribution of the thesis is a processual model that illustrates how CSR contributes to CPP. There are also implications for practice. CSR activities are velvet curtains that hide the operationalisation of political power. The social and political implications call for the attention of government officials who favour a neoliberal doctrine for the promotion of CSR to business.
Limited Liability: A Pathway for Corporate Recklessness?Dabor, Igho Lordson (2016)This thesis argues that the twin concept of separate personality and limited liability from its historical beginnings, has entrenched corporate irresponsibility. It assesses the role that these concepts have played in tackling corporate irresponsibility from their historical origins to the present day, commenting on the lessons learnt. Whilst the institution of the company as a legal person is unquestionably the bedrock of modern company law, this thesis examines these concepts not necessarily from the position of disputing the philosophical, economic, or political imperatives, all of which are incredibly important – but from the viewpoint that historically, the principle of separate personality and limited liability entrenches corporate irresponsibility. As such, this thesis suggests a partial abandonment of the separate personality principle because it provides a mechanism for dishonest directors to escape liability for their fraudulent conduct. It also argues that the existing judicial evasion and concealment principles and the statutory fraudulent and wrongful trading provisions under the Insolvency Act 1986 are too restrictive, and ambiguous in combating corporate abuse. It is concluded that the existing common law and statutory rules geared towards combating abuse of limited liability provides no coherent format upon which the courts and legislature may effectively curb abuse of the corporate form. As such, these laws in light of their inability to make dishonest directors personally liable for their fraudulent conducts ought to be challenged. There is a need to challenge the existing rules in order to show the effect abuse of limited liability has on creditors, the public and the economy. This research indicates that there ought to be an adequate and effective alternative law which provides balance and support for genuine enterprise whilst providing a robust system whereby those who abuse the corporate form can be easily made liable for corporate debts.
Is environmental reporting changing corporate behaviour?Price, Mark (Inderscience Enterprises Limited, 2008)Increasingly the business community is being asked to respond to growing societal concerns about the environment (Gray et al., 1996; O'Donovan, 2002; Raar, 2002; Adams, 2002, 2004; KPMG, 2002). One business response which has been widely researched from a number of aspects has been the development of standalone environmental reports (Brown and Deegan, 1998; Deegan and Gordon, 1996; Adams et al., 1998; Holland and Foo, 2003; Buhr, 1998; Cormier and Gordon, 2000; Deegan et al., 2000; Milne and Patten, 2002; O'Donovan 2002; Rahaman et al., 2004). However, one key aspect which has not yet been fully investigated is the impact of environmental reporting upon organisational activity (Dillard et al., 2004; Larringa-Gonzalez and Bebbington, 2001; Ball, 2007). Using an institutional theory perspective, this paper provides a framework for the examination of the embedding of environmental reporting structures into organisational processes and culture. Using this outline framework to analyse existing literature, the paper concludes that there are many issues about the impact of environmental reporting which are still unclear and that many of the attributes of the environmental agenda suggest that it could be another management fad.