Corporate social responsibility has become a subject of growing importance in business and law. Today, no analysis of corporate governance systems would be complete without considering the pressures on companies to be seen as responsible corporate citizens. This chapter first provides a descriptive overview of developments in the field, including increasing voluntary and required environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure; and proliferating voluntary and multilateral standards for responsible corporate behavior. This chapter then reviews some of the more significant empirical evidence on the financial results of companies’ implementation of corporate responsibility initiatives, including the effects of such initiatives on innovation, trust, and social welfare. It concludes with an analysis relating these developments to arguments over the objectives of the corporation and the shareholder/stakeholder debate.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cynthia_williams/9/