The subject of this paper is an analysis of the authority acquired by transnational corporations globally in the development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Transnational corporations as actors have gained a great deal of power over the lives of individuals and communities throughout the world, and this has affected the global distribution of power and wealth. Wherever they act, they have a social and environmental impact: on society in general, on workers, and on the environment. The objective of this paper is to show how CSR could be analyse as a new governance framework, essentially created by the pressure of global civil society on the corporations in a global world. It attempts to explore how transnational corporations have become private authorities, competing or collaborating with other actors such as the global civil society or public authorities in the development of policies and instruments for managing CSR. CSR itself has taken shape through the creation of self-regulation management standards, norms and instruments, with transnational corporations and other stakeholders as a major driving force. The first issue addressed is why CSR has become a voluntary framework for corporate management, within which corporations can manage the social and environmental impacts of their activity. The second is how corporations exercise their authority in developing standards of CSR at a global level. The third is how CSR has become a mechanism for the transformation of the business culture, and what corporations do to contribute to sustainable development.

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Albareda Viv, Laura

Global governance and corporate social responsibility: Exploring the role of transnational corporations as private authorities

The subject of this paper is an analysis of the authority acquired by transnational corporations globally in the development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Transnational corporations as actors have gained a great deal of power over the lives of individuals and communities throughout the world, and this has affected the global distribution of power and wealth. Wherever they act, they have a social and environmental impact: on society in general, on workers, and on the environment. The objective of this paper is to show how CSR could be analyse as a new governance framework, essentially created by the pressure of global civil society on the corporations in a global world. It attempts to explore how transnational corporations have become private authorities, competing or collaborating with other actors such as the global civil society or public authorities in the development of policies and instruments for managing CSR. CSR itself has taken shape through the creation of self-regulation management standards, norms and instruments, with transnational corporations and other stakeholders as a major driving force. The first issue addressed is why CSR has become a voluntary framework for corporate management, within which corporations can manage the social and environmental impacts of their activity. The second is how corporations exercise their authority in developing standards of CSR at a global level. The third is how CSR has become a mechanism for the transformation of the business culture, and what corporations do to contribute to sustainable development.
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Global governance and corporate social responsibility: Exploring the role of transnational corporations as private authorities
Albareda Viv, Laura
EABIS 6th Annual Colloquium
European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS)
Barcelona (Spain), 20/09/2007 - 21/09/2007

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