Responsibility in World Business: Managing Harmful Side-Effects of Corporate Activity

Responsibility in World Business: Managing Harmful Side-Effects of Corporate Activity

Responsibility in World Business: Managing Harmful Side-Effects of Corporate Activity

Responsibility in World Business: Managing Harmful Side-Effects of Corporate Activity

Synopsis

How can countries conduct business in a responsible manner in countries where human rights abuses are widespread or where the environment is being degraded? Responsibility in World Business offers an approach to corporate decisionmaking based on just war theory (a moral justification for engaging in war) and the principle of double effect (PDE). PDE involves applying a set of guidelines to a proposed action to determine if that action is responsible and morally permissible -even though it will produce bad results along with the good. The book's proposed framework can be used as a tool for performance evaluation and as a set of guidelines for conducting business in an ethically responsible manner.

Excerpt

The UN Global Compact – Secretary-General Kofi Annan's initiative on responsible corporate citizenship – aims at “producing practical solutions”, “sharing good practices”, “rallying around universal principles”, and “making the global economy more sustainable and inclusive”. It is with great satisfaction that Global Compact acknowledges the publication of this book, which so admirably strives to contribute to the realization of these goals.

It is the Global Compact's firm belief that business has an important role to play in achieving peace and social development. Launched in Davos in 1999 by the Secretary-General, the Global Compact “seeks to advance corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalisation”. Through its engagement, the Compact provides an international platform that facilitates mutual understanding and the development of practical solutions among business, labour, civil society organizations, government, UN agencies, and leading experts from the academic and public policy spheres.

Integrating corporate social responsibility into business behaviour can be achieved only by developing a much clearer understanding of the obligations underlying the term. This involves clearly distinguishing between what is absolutely required from companies and what society expects from them in addition. Through a Policy Dialogue on “Roles and Responsibilities of Societal Actors in a Global World”, the Global Compact has been exploring these critical issues to help advance a shared . . .

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