The New Rules of Corporate Conduct: Rewriting the Social Charter

The New Rules of Corporate Conduct: Rewriting the Social Charter

The New Rules of Corporate Conduct: Rewriting the Social Charter

The New Rules of Corporate Conduct: Rewriting the Social Charter


This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.


There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, IV, iii

The world is passing through the most sweeping political and economic restructuring of the post-World War II era. This condition is pervasive, tumultuous, and continuous. Country after country, and institution after institution, is being swept into the vortex of these changes. The old boundaries—between industry and industry, economy and economy, corporations and governments— are shifting and becoming more permeable. Information technology is transcending our previous limitations of time and space. As a result, everywhere we are confronted with the prospect of a prolonged period of social, political, and economic adaptation to new roles, new responsibilities, new relationships.

Much has been made of the social and political implications of these changes. With the collapse and fragmentation of the Soviet Union, the whole focus and rhetoric of political analysis and debate has changed. Francis Fujiyama interpreted the event as “the end of history.” And Samuel Harrington suggests that future clashes will center more on cultural than on national or ideological divisions. With the rising economic power of Japan, China and the “Asian tigers,” we are told by some that the third millennium ushers in a “Pacific century,” as the center of economic and political gravity shifts from Europe and North America to the Far East.

It is, however, the implications of these changes for the corporation— particularly the large, private, multinational corporation—that I want to address in this book. As the primary form of economic organization in most countries, the corporation stands to be deeply affected by this transformation of its landscape.

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