Title: Company growth and Board attitudes to corporate social responsibility

Authors: Coral B. Ingley

Addresses: Faculty of Business, AUT University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Abstract: Companies are beginning to recognise the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as presenting a new business model and an opportunity for building innovative forms of competitive advantage. Boards are instrumental in shaping and overseeing such strategies and active engagement around what it means to be a responsible and responsive enterprise can strengthen the Board|s potential as a strategic influence on long-term value creation. Yet many companies align with Friedman|s contention that adopting and practising CSR is a distraction from their core obligation, which is to act in their shareholders| best interests. Based on directors| perceptions, the paper examines responses by Boards to socially related aspects of their governance role and reports on their external orientation and receptiveness toward wider social obligations. The findings suggest that these Boards hold a narrow view of their fiduciary duty, which is closer to the shareholder model than the stakeholder approach to corporate governance.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; CSR; sustainability; strategy; competitive advantage; value creation; company growth; Board attitudes; compliance; community engagement; corporate governance; directors perceptions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2008.017889

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2008 Vol.4 No.1, pp.17 - 39

Published online: 21 Apr 2008 *

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