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The Responsible Corporation in a Global Economy

Warwick Business School, Coventry | March 20-22, 2009

What makes a corporation truly responsible throughout?

Corporations operating on a Global level face a number of dilemmas concerning management standards and moral standards. They must adjust to various contexts, people, governments and expectations. They must face existing double standards from one area of the globe to another, regarding issues such as safety, minimum wage, child labor, working conditions, etc. Some corporations try to solve these dilemmas by projecting an image that is “responsible” in specific and often isolated ways. But what makes a corporation truly responsible throughout?

Principal Inquiries

  • How serious is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? Is CSR a serious activity for the corporations that undertake it, or an aspect of public relations? Can CSR be regarded as an important contributor to public policy?
  • The Corporation and Global Governance.  With public institutions thinner on the ground than at national levels, corporations play more than a market role in the global economy. They set standards for products, labor conditions, environmental quality, etc. What issues does this raise for international organizations and for corporations themselves?
  • Can/Should Corporations Be Global Citizens? The concept of corporate citizenship has been applied to the role of firms in corporate responsibility initiatives. What does this mean in terms of rights and responsibilities, and what does it imply for governance, in particular in a global perspective?

Speakers

Alyson Warhurst – Warwick Business School
Introduction: a Stock-taking of the Achievements and Limitations of CSR as a Contribution to Public Policy

Celia Moore – IBM
A Corporate Perspective

Elaine Sternberg – University of Leeds
A Critical Perspective

André Sobczak – Audencia Nantes School of Management
CSR: A New Form of Social Regulation for Labor Relations Within Transnational Companies 

Klaus Leisinger – Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development
Corporate Responsibility for a Pharmaceutical Corporation

Peter Utting – UNRISD
CSR, Private Regulation and International Development Policy

Adrienne Héritier – European University Institute
The Firm as an Inspector - A Transaction Cost Explanation of Private Ordering

Antonio Tencati – Bocconi University
The Governance of Global Supply Chains

Jeremy Moon – Nottingham University Business School
Corporations and New Institutions of Global Governance

Peter Newell – University of East Anglia, and Eliza Gaffney - WBS
Corporate Citizenship: Making Theoretical and Political Sense of a Concept 

David Finegold – Rutgers University
Governing Value Creation: New Models for the Global Economy

Discussants

Gilbert Lenssen - EABIS
Colin Crouch - Warwick Business School
Chris Marsden - Amnesty International
Andreas Rasche - Warwick Business School
Jan Aart Scholte - Warwick Business School
Lex Holst - Shell

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