Partnerships for the Goals

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Amanda Lange Salvia, Tony Wall

Corporate Responsibility: Law Interactions

  • Duane WindsorEmail author
Living reference work entry


Corporate responsibility – law interactions are the set of relationships between conceptions of corporate responsibility and relatively formal institutions of hard law and soft law affecting the role of business in achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other broader expectations for environmental, social, and stakeholder responsibilities.


The SDGs of September 2015 – the “2030 Agenda” target date – apply to developed and developing countries. The 2030 Agenda addresses 17 key issues in economic, environmental, and social development. The ultimate target is increased human welfare – especially in developing countries. Some issues bear directly on corporate responsibility (listed in an alphabetical order): climate change, innovation and infrastructure, partnerships, responsible consumption and production, and work and economic growth. All businesses have an explicit role in each of these issues. Other goals are less directly linked to...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Almatrooshi S, Hussain M, Ajmal M, Tehsin M (2018) Role of public policies in promoting CSR: empirical evidence from business and civil society of UAE. Corp Gov Int J Bus Soc 18:1107–1123. Scholar
  2. Bantekas I (2004) Corporate social responsibility in international law. Boston Univ Int Law J 22:309–347. Scholar
  3. Baron DP (2001) Private politics, corporate social responsibility, and integrated strategy. J Econ Mgmt Strat 10:7–45.
  4. Berger-Walliser G, Scott I (2018) Redefining corporate social responsibility in an era of globalization and regulatory hardening. Am Bus Law J 55:167–218. Scholar
  5. Bliss RT (2015) Shareholder value and CSR: friends or foes? How to practice corporate social responsibility while maintaining shareholder value and without sacrificing analytical rigor.
  6. Bozhikin I, Dentchev N (2018) Discovering a wilderness of regulatory mechanisms for corporate social responsibility: literature review. Econ Altern 12(2):145–174. Scholar
  7. Buhmann K (2006) Corporate social responsibility: what role for law? Some aspects of law and CSR. Corp Gov Int J Bus Soc 6:188–202. Scholar
  8. Chattopadhyay A, Shaffer M, Wang CCY (2018) Governance through shame and aspiration: index creation and corporate behavior. Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper No. 18-010.
  9. Choller P, Sandwidi BW (2018) CSR engagement and financial risk: a virtuous circle? International evidence. Glob Finan J 38:65–81. Scholar
  10. Coff RW (1999) When competitive advantage doesn't lead to performance: the resource-based view and stakeholder bargaining power. Organ Sci 10:119–133. Scholar
  11. Dyck A, Lins KV, Roth L, Wagner HF (2019) Do institutional investors drive corporate social responsibility? International evidence. J Financ Econ 131:693–714. Scholar
  12. Friedman M (1970) The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. NY Times Mag Sept 13: 32–33, 122, 124, 126.
  13. Garg R, Ambrosius J (2018) Whoever said corporations do not care? Evidence of CSR from India. Int J Indian Cult Bus Manag 16:206–222. Scholar
  14. Gatti L, Vishwanath B, Seele P, Cottier B (2018) Are we moving beyond voluntary CSR? Exploring theoretical and managerial implications of mandatory CSR resulting from the new Indian Companies Act. J Bus Ethics.
  15. Gautam V (2018) Corporate social responsibility in India: truth behind legal façade. Int J Res Cult Soc 2:233–238. Scholar
  16. Gjølberg M (2011) Explaining regulatory preferences: CSR, soft law, or hard law? Insights from a survey of Nordic pioneers in CSR. Bus Polit 13:1–31. Scholar
  17. Graafland J (2018) Does corporate social responsibility put reputation at risk by inviting activist targeting? An empirical test among European SMEs. CSR Environ Manag 25:1–13. Scholar
  18. Gribnau H, Enden E, Baisalbayeva K (2018) Codes of conduct as a means to manage ethical tax governance. Intertax 46(5):390–407Google Scholar
  19. Ibanga D-A (2018) Is there a social contract between the firm and community: revisiting the philosophy of corporate social responsibility? Int J Dev Sustain 7:355–380. Scholar
  20. Knudsen JS (2018) Government regulation of international corporate social responsibility in the US and the UK: how domestic institutions shape mandatory and supportive initiatives. Br J Ind Relat 56:164–188. Scholar
  21. Kottasová I (2017, July 25) Gold mining firm slapped with tax bill 190 times its annual revenue. Retrieved July 2, 2018 from
  22. Kudłak R, Szőcs I, Krumay B, Martinuzzi A (2018) The future of CSR – selected findings from a Europe-wide Delphi study. J Clean Prod 183:282–291. Scholar
  23. Liang H, Renneboog L (2018) Is corporate social responsibility an agency problem? In: Boubaker S, Cumming D, Nguyen DK (eds) Research handbook of finance and sustainability. Edgar Elgar, Cheltenham/NorthamptonGoogle Scholar
  24. Manchiraju H, Rajgopal S (2017) Does corporate social responsibility (CSR) create shareholder value? Evidence from the Indian Companies Act 2013. J Acc Res 55:1257–1300. Scholar
  25. Marques A, Srinivasan P (2018, revised June) When corporate social responsibility is an obligation: the unique case of India. WP No. 565. Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
  26. Marquis C, Qian C (2014) Corporate social responsibility reporting in China: symbol or substance? Organ Sci 25:127–148. Scholar
  27. Matten D, Moon J (2008) “Implicit” and “explicit” CSR: a conceptual framework for a comparative understanding of corporate social responsibility. Acad Manag Rev 33:404–424. Scholar
  28. McBarnet D (2009) Corporate social responsibility beyond law, through law, for law. U of Edinburgh School of Law Working Paper No. 2009/03.
  29. McWilliams A, Siegel D (2001) Corporate social responsibility: a theory of the firm perspective. Acad Manag Rev 26:117–127. Scholar
  30. Midttun A, Gjølberg M, Kourula A, Sweet S, Vallentin S (2015) Public policies for corporate social responsibility in four Nordic countries: harmony of goals and conflict of means. Bus Soc 54:464–500. Scholar
  31. Miras-Rodríguez M, Di Pietra R (2018) Corporate governance mechanisms as drivers that enhance the credibility and usefulness of CSR disclosure. J Manag Gov. Scholar
  32. Morris J, Baddache F (2012) The five W’s of France’s CSR reporting law.
  33. Mullerat R (2013) Corporate social responsibility: a European perspective. Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence, Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series, 13(6), June.
  34. Newman C, Rand J, Tarp F, Trifkovic N (2018) The transmission of socially responsible behaviour through international trade. Eur Econ Rev 101:250–267. Scholar
  35. Noked N (2013) The corporate social responsibility report and effective stakeholder engagement. Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.
  36. Okoye A (2009) Theorising corporate social responsibility as an essentially contested concept: is a definition necessary? J Bus Ethics 89:613–627. Scholar
  37. Pan X, Chen X, Ning L (2018) The roles of macro and micro institutions in corporate social responsibility (CSR) evidence from listed firms in China. Manag Decis 56:955–971. Scholar
  38. Ronnegard D, Smith NC (2018) Shareholder primacy vs. stakeholder theory: the law as constraint and potential enabler of stakeholder concerns. INSEAD Working Paper No. 2018/15/ATL/Social Innovation Centre.
  39. Rühmkorf A (2018) From transparency to due diligence laws? Variations in stringency of CSR regulation in global supply chains in the ‘home state’ of multinational enterprises. In: du Plessis JJ, Varottil U, Veldman J (eds) Globalisation of corporate social responsibility and its impact on corporate governance. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  40. Salvioni DM, Franzoni S, Gennari F, Cassano R (2018) Convergence in corporate governance systems and sustainability culture. Int J Bus Perform Manag 19:7–15. Scholar
  41. Scherer AG (2018) Theory assessment and agenda setting in political CSR: a critical theory perspective. Int J Manag Rev 20:387–410. Scholar
  42. Smith A (1759) The theory of moral sentiments. A Strahan and T Cadell, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Steurer R (2010) The role of governments in corporate social responsibility: characterising public policies on CSR in Europe. Policy Sci 43:49–72. Scholar
  44. Strand R, Freeman RE, Hockerts K (2015) Corporate social responsibility and sustainability in Scandinavia: an overview. J Bus Ethics 127:1–15. Scholar
  45. Tang Y, Ma Y, Wong CW, Miao X (2018) Evolution of government policies on guiding corporate social responsibility in China. Sustainability 10(3):741 (open access). Scholar
  46. UN Global Compact (2018) All companies can play a role. Accessed 2 Jul 2018
  47. Varottil U (2018) Analysing the CSR spending requirements under Indian company law. In: du Plessis JJ, Varottil U, Veldman J (eds) Globalisation of corporate social responsibility and its impact on corporate governance. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  48. Walker K, Zhang Z, Ni N (2018) The mirror effect: corporate social responsibility, corporate social irresponsibility and firm performance in coordinated market economies and liberal market economies. Br J Manag. Scholar
  49. Wilson JQ (1989) Adam Smith on business ethics. Calif Manag Rev 32:59–72. Scholar
  50. Yan M (2018) Corporate social responsibility vs. shareholder value maximization: through the lens of hard and soft law. Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 280/2018.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jones Graduate School of BusinessRice UniversityHoustonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Monica Thiel
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public Administration and School of Business AdministrationUniversity of International Business and Economics & China University of PetroleumBeijingChina