Consider as comprehensively as possible the application of corporate social responsibility where the environment is concerned. How do the Module Resources describe the obligation to legal or regulatory compliance relative to a broader concept of responsibility? What, if any, are the inadequacies of regulation (particularly with environmental stewardship)? What does this say about the adequacy of the free market economic model to accommodate the realities of the coming decades?
Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility
In her 2004 doctoral dissertation, Alice A. Mah put forth the supposition that corporate social and environmental responsibility (CSER) has developed as a strategy to prevent or forestall international binding regulations, and as a means of cooption and compromise (Mah, 2004). This premise is a harsh, albeit possibly accurate, condemnation of corporations; they become stewards of the environment not because it is the right thing to do, but because it is an expedient ploy to evade regulation. In juxtaposition to this outlook is that of Elizabeth Essex in documenting one (anonymous) company's commitment to environmental and social responsibility while maintaining shareholder value and achieving profit goals.
One must view each dissertation with a certain amount of skepticism; one can always find situations and studies that align with one's own preconceived notions and/or prejudices. It is difficult to ascertain motivations without irrefutable evidence such as corporate memorandums or emails attributable to company leadership. Without knowledge of motivation, one must look toward results. Are these companies responsible stewards of the biosphere, and ...
This solution provides a discussion of corporate environmental responsibility, touching on the topics of motivation vs legislation and regulation vs law. All references used are included.