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Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance

The Contribution of Economic Theory and Related Disciplines

Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance by Lorenzo Sacconi
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is fast becoming a social demand and standard of behaviour in terms of the equitable treatment of corporate stakeholders to which all businesses feel they are expected to conform. Increasingly governance of corporations is viewed as accountable not just to shareholders but to multiple stakeholders, requiring an extension of the firm's fiduciary duties. Such ideas are even more topical after the last global financial crisis.

This volume addresses the question: what does the rise of corporate social responsibility mean for economic theory? It considers, in particular, microeconomic theory and the theory of the firm alongside new-institutional and behavioural theories, game theory, stakeholder theory, incomplete contracts and law and economics.

Drawing on the contributions of outstanding scholars like the Nobel laureate Oliver Williamson among others, it is shown that corporate social responsibility forces the economic theorist to engage with ideas emanating from other disciplines, including ethics, political philosophy and the law. The result is a set of essays that is perhaps more interdisciplinary than is usual for books on economic theory. This volume looks certain to establish itself as an invaluable text for scholars of economic theory, as well as their students in both advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Part I explores the relation of CSR, offering different perspectives on the nature of the business firm and its governance structure based on human asset specificity, team production and the stakeholder approach (O. Williamson; M. Aoki; R.E. Freeman; A.Wicks and B. Parmar; A. Kaufman and E. Englander; and L. Stout and M. Blair).
Part II considers alternative normative foundations of CSR and corporate governance based on models of the social contract, reputation effects, and collective rational agency (V. Vamberg; L. Sacconi; L. Andreozzi; and B. Chapman).
Part III illustrates various approaches to the regulation and self-regulations of CSR, with special emphasis on social standards and multi-stakeholder organisations analysed alongside the more recent acquisition in behavioural economics (M. Blair, C. Williams and L. Lin; L. Becchetti and N. Pace; M. Osterloh, B. Frey and H. Zeitoun; A. Ben Ner, T. Ren and L. Putterman).
Palgrave Macmillan; December 2010
484 pages; ISBN 9780230302112
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Title: Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance
Author: Lorenzo Sacconi; Margaret Blair; R. Edward Freeman; Alessandro Vercelli