Understanding CSR: An Empirical Study of Private Regulation
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 09:05 by Benedict Sheehy
This article is a study of an important burgeoning form of regulation — private self-regulation — in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (‘CSR’). Rather than taking a purely theoretical approach or a social scientific study relying on publicly reported data, the article addresses the issue by way of interview-based case studies. As a study in regulation it clarifies the difference between various types of self-regulation, trade associations’ codes as private self-regulation and government sponsored self-regulation. This distinction hampers efforts to understand the important aspects of motivation and compliance. This study provides an empirical examination of compliance in private self-regulation. Given the impact and reach of multinational companies (‘MNCs’) as well as the difficulties associated with regulating them through hard law, the necessity of effective CSR becomes paramount. CSR is a global movement of self-regulation utilised by MNCs with decidedly mixed outcomes. This study shows how private self-regulation can work by leveraging the personal motivation of employed managers educated in CSR and given discretion to pursue important social ends, particularly in conjunction with their communities.