Corporate Social Responsibility in the Board Room

When do Directors Pay Attention?

Jette Steen Knudsen, Kathrine Geisler, Mette Ege

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    When do board directors pay attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues? Board directors have traditionally focused on maximizing shareholder profit and viewed corporate governance narrowly as a way to meet this goal. They have paid little or no attention to CSR issues because they see CSR as a contrast to profit maximization. We argue in this article that companies can no longer ignore CSR. We propose that three conditions must be met in order for boards to pay attention toCSR. First, the board must have a mindset that considers CSR as contributing value to the firm. Second, the board must have relevant competences that enable members to understand CSR issues. Third, compensation of top-level management should reflect CSR performance. The first two conditions are directly linked to human resource development because, in order to embrace the specific challenges that CSR possesses, board members must develop an understanding of the CSR field and related challenges and opportunities for the company.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHuman Resource Development International
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)238-246
    ISSN1367-8868
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Cite this

    Knudsen, Jette Steen ; Geisler, Kathrine ; Ege, Mette. / Corporate Social Responsibility in the Board Room : When do Directors Pay Attention? . In: Human Resource Development International. 2013 ; Vol. 16, No. 2. pp. 238-246.
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    title = "Corporate Social Responsibility in the Board Room: When do Directors Pay Attention?",
    abstract = "When do board directors pay attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues? Board directors have traditionally focused on maximizing shareholder profit and viewed corporate governance narrowly as a way to meet this goal. They have paid little or no attention to CSR issues because they see CSR as a contrast to profit maximization. We argue in this article that companies can no longer ignore CSR. We propose that three conditions must be met in order for boards to pay attention toCSR. First, the board must have a mindset that considers CSR as contributing value to the firm. Second, the board must have relevant competences that enable members to understand CSR issues. Third, compensation of top-level management should reflect CSR performance. The first two conditions are directly linked to human resource development because, in order to embrace the specific challenges that CSR possesses, board members must develop an understanding of the CSR field and related challenges and opportunities for the company.",
    keywords = "Corporate Governance, Corporate social responsibility, Board of Directors, Board mindset, Boeard competencies, Compensation, Human resource development",
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    Corporate Social Responsibility in the Board Room : When do Directors Pay Attention? . / Knudsen, Jette Steen; Geisler, Kathrine ; Ege, Mette.

    In: Human Resource Development International, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2013, p. 238-246.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    T2 - When do Directors Pay Attention?

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    AU - Geisler, Kathrine

    AU - Ege, Mette

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    AB - When do board directors pay attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues? Board directors have traditionally focused on maximizing shareholder profit and viewed corporate governance narrowly as a way to meet this goal. They have paid little or no attention to CSR issues because they see CSR as a contrast to profit maximization. We argue in this article that companies can no longer ignore CSR. We propose that three conditions must be met in order for boards to pay attention toCSR. First, the board must have a mindset that considers CSR as contributing value to the firm. Second, the board must have relevant competences that enable members to understand CSR issues. Third, compensation of top-level management should reflect CSR performance. The first two conditions are directly linked to human resource development because, in order to embrace the specific challenges that CSR possesses, board members must develop an understanding of the CSR field and related challenges and opportunities for the company.

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    KW - Board of Directors

    KW - Board mindset

    KW - Boeard competencies

    KW - Compensation

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