Social Responsibility in the Board Room: When do Directors Pay Attention?

Mette Ege, Kathrine Geisler, Jette Steen Knudsen

    Research output: Working paperResearch


    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 to CSR. First, the board must have a mind-set 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 (HRD) 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
    Place of Publicationwww
    PublisherSSRN: Social Science Research Network
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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