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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Corporate social responsibility is 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 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. It 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 about the objectives of the corporation and the shareholder/stakeholder debate—with particular reference to the argument between Cornell Distinguished Professor of Corporate and Business Law, Lynn A. Stout, and Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, Leo E. Strine, Jr.

Keywords: social responsibility, corporate responsibility, ESG disclosure, environmental disclosure, social disclosure, governance disclosure, corporate behaviors

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