The Responsibility Paradox

Source: Gerald F. Davis, Marina V.N. Whitman, & Mayer N. Zald, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2008

With operations scattered around the globe, the modern corporation is a different animal from its predecessors. Yet the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has not changed much over the years. As a result, just as stakeholders are holding corporations more responsible for their actions, corporations understand their responsibilities to stakeholders even less. To resolve this paradox, firms must update their CSR practices. The authors predict that the European Union will set the tone for product and environmental regulations, the United States will lead on governance guidelines, and international NGOs will drive human rights and labor laws.

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