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The Meaning of Large Companies‘ Corporate Social Responsibility for Enterprise Management, Economic Success and Social Balance in Globalising Europe

von Martin Schelberg, PhD

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[1.] Msc/Fragment 078 01 - Diskussion
Zuletzt bearbeitet: 2014-12-23 09:33:42 Hindemith
Fragment, Gesichtet, KomplettPlagiat, Msc, SMWFragment, Schutzlevel sysop, Steurer et al 2008

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Untersuchte Arbeit:
Seite: 78, Zeilen: 1ff (entire page)
Quelle: Steurer et al 2008
Seite(n): 13, 14, Zeilen: 13: 19ff; 14: 1ff
In this context, some authors emphasise that CSR and respective public policies can help to compensate for the failure of governments to achieve public policy goals or solve problems with regulations. Some scholars argue that in the contemporary neo-liberal age, relationships between corporations and societal groups are less likely to be the subject of state interventionism than they were in the Keynesian age, which ended in the late 1970s. A decrease of state interventionism might open up the possibilities for more ‗responsible‘ [sic] forms of interaction between stakeholder groupings, devolved to enterprise level.

In recent years, however, opposing views on the roles of governments with regard to CSR have come to the fore vividly at the EU level. After the Lisbon European Council in March 2000, the European Commission stepped up its activities on CSR in various ways. It, for example, formulated its position on CSR in a Green Paper entitled ―Promoting a European framework for Corporate Social Responsibility in which it framed CSR for the first time in the context of sustainable development. In 2002, the European Commission (2002) released a communication on CSR that explored also some ambitious CSR policy options aiming to increase convergence and transparency of CSR practices and tools across Europe. In the same year, the Commission also launched a multi-stakeholder forum on CSR. The key purpose of the forum was to promote the transparency and convergence of CSR practices and instruments across Europe. In June 2004, the stakeholder forum presented its conclusions and recommendations to the European Commission (European Multi Stakeholder Forum on CSR, 2004). With the change of the Commission in 2004, the EU has changed its CSR policy from a pro-active approach of fostering stakeholder pressure to a passive approach that emphasises businesses self-regulation. In March 2006, Commissioner Verheugen declared openly, Originally, the Commission‘s plans looked very different. The department responsible wanted to publish naming-and-shaming lists [of companies] and to create a monitoring system for the implementation of the CSR principles. I had to halt this enthusiasm for new regulations‖ [sic] (Financial Times, 22 March 2006). Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament commented the new course pointedly: The Commission wants Europe to be 'a pole of excellence' in business, but instead has dumped five years of debate and consultation into a black hole. The Commission says that public authorities should create an enabling environment for CSR yet opts out from any proposals for concrete action for itself, simply repeating generalisations which we have all read before. The failure to build on extensive work since 2001 creates the risk that companies, as well as other interests, will walk away from the debate. If this is all the Commission can come up with, Europe risks being sidelined on a critical issue for the future of business, while the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative take the lead on CSR.

Without being able to follow the history of CSR policies at the EU level here in more detail, or to outline CSR policies at the Member State level, we can draw the following conclusion. Although public policies on CSR have a soft-law character, they are nevertheless subject to considerable political controversies, and there is a considerable scope for pursuing a rather passive or pro-active course. Thus, we propose the following discussion question:

In how far can/should national and EU public policies on CSR contribute to Sustainable Development (SD) and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)?

National coordination of SCP and CSR policies and respective actors

Member States take different approaches in coordinating SCP and CSR policies. Regarding SCP, three basic options are, firstly, to pursue SCP with separate action plans or frameworks, or, secondly, to integrate SCP into national SD strategies.

In this context, some authors emphasise that CSR and respective public policies can help to compensate for the failure of governments to achieve public policy goals or solve problems with regulations. Some scholars argue that in the contemporary neo-liberal age, relationships between corporations and societal groups are less likely to be the subject of state interventionism than they were in the Keynesian age, which ended in the late 1970s. A decrease of state interventionism "might open up the possibilities for more 'responsible' forms of interaction between stakeholder groupings, devolved to enterprise level" (Mellahi & Wood 2003, 190f; see also Rondinelli & Berry 2000, 74; Banerjee 2002, 8).

In recent years, however, opposing views on the roles of governments with regard to CSR have come to the fore vividly at the EU level. After the Lisbon European Council in March 2000, the European Commission stepped up its activities on CSR in various ways. It, for example, formulated its position on CSR in a Green Paper entitled "Promoting a European framework for corporate social responsibility" (European Commission 2001) in which it framed CSR for the first time in the context of sustainable development. In 2002, the European Commission (2002) released a communication on CSR that explored also some ambitious CSR policy options aiming to increase convergence and transparency of CSR practices and tools across Europe. In the same year, the Commission also launched a multi-stakeholder forum on CSR. The key purpose of the forum was to promote the transparency and convergence of CSR practices and instruments across Europe. In June 2004, the stakeholder forum presented its conclusions and recommendations to the European Commission (European Multi Stakeholder Forum on CSR, 2004). With the change of the Commission in 2004, the EU has changed its CSR policy from a pro-active approach of fostering stakeholder pressure to a passive approach that emphasises businesses self-regulation (Steurer 2006). In March 2006, Commissioner Verheugen declared openly, "Originally, the Commission‘s plans looked very different. The department responsible wanted to publish naming-and-shaming lists [of companies] and to create a monitoring system for the implementation of the CSR principles. I had to halt this enthusiasm for new regulations" (Financial Times, 22 March 2006). Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament commented the new course pointedly: "The Commission wants Europe to be 'a pole of excellence' in business, but instead has dumped five years of debate and consultation into a black hole. The Commission says that public authorities should create an enabling environment for

[page 14]

CSR yet opts out from any proposals for concrete action for itself, simply repeating generalisations which we have all read before. The failure to build on extensive work since 2001 creates the risk that companies, as well as other interests, will walk away from the debate. If this is all the Commission can come up with, Europe risks being sidelined on a critical issue for the future of business, while the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative take the lead on CSR".1

Without being able to follow the history of CSR policies at the EU level here in more detail, or to outline CSR policies at the Member State level (for details, see the ESDN Quarterly Report June 2008 by clicking here), we can draw the following conclusion. Although public policies on CSR have a soft-law character, they are nevertheless subject to considerable political controversies, and there is a considerable scope for pursuing a rather passive or pro-active course. Thus, we propose the following discussion question:

In how far can/should national and EU public policies on CSR contribute to SD and SCP?

Topic 3 National coordination of SCP and CSR policies and respective actors

Member States take different approaches in coordinating SCP and CSR policies. Regarding SCP, three basic options are, firstly, to pursue SCP with separate action plans or frameworks, or, secondly, to integrate SCP into national SD strategies (European Commission, 2004b).


1 http://www.euractiv.com/en/socialeurope/ csr-corporate-social-responsibility/article-153515

Anmerkungen

The source is not mentioned.

Note that in the thesis in the first documented paragraph one finds "‗responsible‘" [sic]. These unusual signs are created when one copies and then pastes the correct looking signs in the source. This indicates that the text has been copied from the source via copy-paste. Similarly the sign "‖" is created by copying and pasting a quotation mark in the source.

Note that some quotation marks and references have been removed in the dissertation as compared to the source.

Sichter
(Hindemith), PlagProf:-)


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