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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Standards and Guidelines A Legal Perspective

Globalization has influenced trade all over the world; companies have looked for new
opportunities in doing business outside their home country. In recent years Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) has gained growing recognition as a new and emerging form of governance
in business. It is already established in a global context, with international reference standards set
by the United Nations, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
guidelines and International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. With brand value and
reputation increasingly being seen as one of a companys most valuable assets, CSR is now seen
as building loyalty and trust amongst shareholders, employees and customers1. CSR applies to a
wide variety of company activities, especially in enterprises that operate multi-nationally in very
different social and environmental settings. This Paper first explains about the advantages of
CSR, then discusses about the International Legal Regimes which govern CSR, and how they are
helpful for the effective implementation of CSR in the present global era, next part of the paper
explains CSR Indian scenario and finally ends with a conclusion.
Advantages

of

CSR:

CSR is closely linked with the principle of sustainable development, which argues that
enterprises should make decisions based not only on financial factors such as profits or dividends
but also based on immediate and long term social and environmental consequences of its
activities. CSR has a significant role in controlling the perils of uncontrolled development,
satisfying the needs of the present generation and at the same time ensuring that the resources of
future generations is not jeopardized2. Companies are more willing to report on their
contributions to the maintenance of a sound environment, a healthier society or more ethical
business practices through both internal and external action within the countries in which they
operate. The area often lacking is CSR reporting in the area of labour rights and relations. One of
the prime concerns of CSR should be the quality of industrial relations within a company.
It must be a contradiction in terms for a firm that fails to apply collective agreements or respect
employment contracts to be regarded as socially responsible. One of the most significant issues
within the CSR agenda concerns the dynamic relationship between CSR and good public
governance. The limits both to corporate accountability through law and to voluntary CSR-

related actions by businesses lie with the public good governance agenda. Legislation to deal
with worst case instances of irresponsible behaviour and to set a minimum floor for business
conduct will not work in the absence of effective drivers for business implementation and
enforcement, whether they are market-based, or a result of enforcement through the state.
International

CSR

Standards

and

Guidelines:

# ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social


Policy
#

OECD

Guidelines

for

Multinational

UN

Enterprises

Global

Compact

# The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


I. ILO tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social
policy:The ILO is the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. It is the only tripartite United
Nations agency3, bringing together representatives of governments, employers and workers to
shape policies and programmes jointly. Its mission, scope, audience, governance and its relation
with other instruments is briefly described below.
The purpose of the Declaration is to encourage the positive contribution which MNEs can make
to economic and social progress, and to minimize and resolve difficulties arising from their
operations. The Declaration was one of earliest international instruments covering the social
dimension of business.It was negotiated between the employees, employers and workers in the
year 1977. The Declaration sets out principles in the field of general policies, employment, and
training, conditions of work and life and industrial relations. All government, employer and
worker organizations are recommended to observe the principles on a voluntary basis.
The
#

main
General

areas

policies

(obey

covered
national

by
laws

and

the
respect

Declaration
international

are:
standards)

# Employment (employment promotion; equality of opportunity and treatment; security of


employment)
#

Training

(policy

development

for

vocational

training,

skills

formation)

# Conditions of Work and Life (wages, benefits, conditions of work; minimum age; safety and
health)
# Industrial Relations (freedom of association and right to organize; collective bargaining;
consultation; grievances; settlement of disputes).
The Declaration was revised in 2000 to include the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
It was further revised in 2006 to update references to other ILO instruments. During this update,
the list of ILO Conventions that member States are invited to ratify was extended to all the
fundamental ILO Conventions. Moreover, a specific recommendation was added to encourage
enterprises, both multinational and national, to take immediate and effective measures within
their own competence to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child
labour, as a matter of urgency.
Multinational enterprises are a key audience; the Declarations principles regarding the social
aspects of MNEs are also for use by small and medium enterprises, as well as by governments,
employers and workers organizations. All the parties are encouraged to contribute to the
realization of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In addition,
governments are urged to ratify, along with the conventions already referenced, the minimum age
and child labour conventions. The ILO undertakes periodic surveys on the implementation of the
MNE Declaration. It does not have a membership structure, so it does not require that user
organizations report their use of the Declaration.
The ILO established a subcommittee of the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour
Standards of the ILO Governing Body to oversee the Declaration, and to discuss ILO policy
concerning CSR issues4. The ILO focuses on improved information collection, analysis and
dissemination, and coherent action, drawing on its tripartite strength and bringing together
contributions from all parts of the organization. It also conducts surveys on use of the
Declaration. The MNE Declaration includes procedures for the examination of disputes
concerning its application. The ILO also has a standing tripartite committee on Freedom of
Association, which deals with complaints concerning freedom of association and collective
bargaining. The MNE Declaration is unique in providing clear guidance of how companies and
governments can work together, to help advance national and local economic and social

development goals advocating public-private partnerships long before the term existed. The
MNE Declaration also encourages dialogue between home and host countries for foreign direct
investment, linking CSR initiatives to a broader dialogue concerning trade and investment. By
situating CSR in the broader context of government policies which critically impact enterprise
decisions, the MNE Declaration emphasizes that CSR is an important complement to
government regulation, but never a substitute.
The MNE Declaration references other authoritative international instruments, such as the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a result of the thematic and sectoral complimentarily
of the ILO Declaration and the OECD Guidelines, there is a good collaborative relationship
between the two organizations. In June 2008 they will jointly host a Conference on CSR, aimed
at promoting responsible business conduct in the globalizing economy. The MNE Declaration
also references instruments such as the Millennium Development Goals and the UN Global
Compact. ILO is establishing a helpdesk for companies, industry initiatives and employers,
workers and governments to promote full and accurate inclusion of the principles of the MNE
Declaration.
II.OECD

guidelines

for

multinational

enterprises:-

The OECD MNE Guidelines are subscribed to by all thirty members of the Organization for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). A further ten non-member countries
(Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovenia) have
also adhered to the Guidelines. Four additional applications for adherence are currently under
consideration by the OECD5. The Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) and the
Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) were involved in their development and endorse the
Guidelines. OECD Watch, a coalition of more than 65 civil society organizations, also supports
the Guidelines. The Guidelines have been referenced by the UN Security Council and other
interested non-OECD bodies.
The purpose of the OECD MNE Guidelines is to offer a balanced, multilaterally-endorsed, and
comprehensive Code that expresses the shared values of adhering governments. They are
recommendations jointly addressed by governments to multinational enterprises that provide
principles and standards of good practice consistent with applicable laws. By providing a clear

set of expectations, the Guidelines seek to encourage the positive contributions multinational
companies can make to economic, environmental and social progress6.
The Guidelines comprise a set of voluntary recommendations in all the major areas of corporate
citizenship, including employment and industrial relations, human rights, environment,
information disclosure, combating bribery, consumer interests, science and technology,
competition, and taxation. They form part of a broader OECD investment instrument, the
Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises, which is designed to
promote direct investment and international economic development and growth. Implementation
of the Guidelines involves a unique combination of binding and voluntary elements7. Adhering
governments commit to promote them among multinational enterprises operating in or from their
territories. The instruments distinctive implementation mechanisms include the operations of
National Contact Points (NCP), which are government offices charged with advancing the
Guidelines and handling enquiries in the national context. NCPs also support a unique mediation
and conciliation procedure called specific instances involving claims that the Guidelines
have not been respected. Since 2000, some 160 such specific instances have been considered by
the NCPs. This process may be engaged whether or not a company has recognized the
Guidelines.
While the Guidelines are primarily addressed to MNEs, they are not aimed at introducing
differences of treatment between multinational and domestic enterprises. Accordingly,
multinational and domestic enterprises are subject to the same expectations in respect of their
conduct wherever the Guidelines are relevant to both. Likewise, while SMEs may not have the
same capacities as larger enterprises, they are invited to observe the Guidelines to the fullest
extent possible. The Guidelines are freely available to all user organizations8. Since the
Guidelines do not require users to publicize their use, the actual number of users is not known.
Nonetheless, surveys among large enterprises indicate that a significant proportion refer to the
Guidelines in their CSR policies.
The OECD Investment Committee, in consultation with BIAC and TUAC, is responsible for
oversight of the Guidelines. Adhering governments are individually responsible for promoting
use of the Guidelines, and for processing any specific instances, through their NCPs. They

meet annually at the OECD and report to the Investment Committee, which conducts a peer
review of implementation.
The Guidelines were expressly designed to strengthen the existing international normative
framework. Among other norms, they reference the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on
Environment and Development and Agenda 21, and the Copenhagen Declaration for Social
Development. The Guidelines can readily be used in conjunction with other instruments9.
Explanatory materials have been developed to outline their relationship with the UN Global
Compact, the Principles for Responsible Investment, and with the GRI Guidelines.
III.UN

Global

Compact:-

UN Secretary-General, one of the principal organs of the United Nations, with support from UN
agencies, governments, and representatives of business, labour and other civil society bodies. It
accepts new adherents on an ongoing basis from all major categories of societal actors. The UN
Global Compact has been recognized on a number of occasions by the UN General Assembly, as
well as by all Heads of States and Governments in the UN World Summit Outcome document
(2005) and the G8.
The UN Global Compact has two broad goals. These are to mainstream ten core principles
relating to human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption in business
activities around the world; and to catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals, such as the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A voluntary initiative, it is not a code of conduct. It
offers a policy framework for organizing and developing corporate sustainability strategies
while offering a platform based on universal principles to encourage innovative initiatives
and partnerships with civil society, governments and other stakeholders. The UN Global
Compact invites companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, the
following ten principles10:
Human

Rights

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed

human

rights;

and

Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Labour

Standards

Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of
the
Principle

right
4:

Principle

the
5:

to

elimination
the

of

effective

all

collective
forms

of

abolition

forced
of

bargaining;

and
child

compulsory

labour;

labour;

and

Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


Environment
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Anti-Corruption
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and
bribery.
The UN Global Compact is directed primarily to the business sector, but is a multi-stakeholder
initiative and engages all kinds of societal actors, including public agencies, labour and civil
society organizations. Companies participating in the Compact initiate their involvement by
expressing their support in writing at CEO level. Among other things, each participant commits
to integrate the principles into organizational strategy, culture and operations; to publicly
advocate the UN Global Compact and its principles; and to publish annually a communication
on progress, a description of the ways in which it is supporting the Global Compact and its ten
principles. Since its launch in July 2000, the initiative has grown to over 5, 000 participants,
including over 3,600 businesses in 120 countries around the world. It is widely regarded as the
world's largest global corporate citizenship initiative.
The Compact has a multi-centric governance framework. This includes a triennial Leaders
Summit, annual local networks forum, the Global Compact Office and a UN Inter-Agency Team,
as well as a 20 person global Board comprising representation from business, civil society,

labour and the UN family. The Compacts principles are derived from the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; the Rio
Declaration on Environment and Development, and the UN Convention against Corruption. The
Global Compact has developed guidance materials that help users understand its relationship
with the OECD MNE Guidelines, and with the GRI Guidelines. The Compact endorses but does
not require the use of the GRI Guidelines in making communications on progress.
IV.

The

Universal

Declaration

of

Human

Rights:-

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that every individual and organ of society
has the responsibility to strive to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by
progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective
recognition and observance11. As important organs of society, businesses have a
responsibility to promote worldwide respect for human rights. The ILO Conventions establish
norms covering all aspects of working conditions and industrial relations. Some of the most
important cover12 core labour standards (i.e. basic human rights in the workplace). These
include the right to freedom of association, the right to organize and to collective bargaining, and
freedom from forced labour. ILO conventions are binding on all countries that have ratified
them.
The ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and
Social

Policy:

It is a global instrument designed to provide guidance to government, employer and worker


organizations in areas of employment, training, conditions of work and industrial relations. All
core labour standards are covered. Although it is a non-binding instrument, its implementation is
nevertheless the object of regular reviews.
The

ILO

Declaration

on

Fundamental

Principles

and

Rights

at

Work:

It is based on the core labour standards outline in the ILO Conventions. The Declaration is not
binding but applies to all ILO member states. As part of a strategy to help countries to have wellfunctioning labour markets, it provides for a mechanism for annual review of the efforts made by
member states that have not yet ratified the core labour standards. The Declaration also
reinforces the application of core labour standards in private voluntary instruments. The 1992

Rio Declaration sets out 27 principles defining the rights and responsibilities of states in relation
to human development and well-being. The Agenda 21 agreement provides guidance for
governments, business and individuals on how to contribute to efforts to make development
socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Its Chapter 30 recognizes the value of
promoting responsible entrepreneurship.
The

Millennium

Development

Goals

It identifies a series of government-agreed targets and timetables in relation to issues such as


poverty reduction, improvement of child health care and education, and the promotion of gender
equality.
The

Johannesburg

Declaration

on

Sustainable

Development

(2002)

It says that the private sector has a duty to contribute to the evolution of equitable and
sustainable communities and societies, and that there is a need for private sector corporations
to enforce corporate accountability. Its Plan of Implementation notes the need to enhance
corporate environmental and social responsibility and accountability. The UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change and Convention on Biodiversity were also signed by a majority
of governments.
The

2005

World

Summit

Outcome

It reiterated the importance of full respect for existing labour, human rights and environmental
commitments and encouraged responsible business practices, such as those promoted by the
Global Compact.
UN

Convention

against

Corruption

(2003)

It ratifies countries undertook to criminalize an array of corrupt practices; develop national


institutions to prevent corrupt practices and to prosecute offenders; co-operate with other
governments to recover stolen assets; and help each other to fight corruption.
CSR

The

Indian

Scenario:

In an economically globalized world, corporations are subject to global expectations, and a


globally accepted and broad concept like sustainable development fits well with the economic,
social and environmental responsibilities of global corporations. Accordingly, the triple bottom

line approach to CSR suggests that a business organization must strive to balance these three
areas of responsibility. Because of its alignment with the concept of sustainable development,
this approach is widely applied around the world. Associating CSR with sustainable development
has become so common that CSR reporting is often called sustainability reporting. In India, till
very recently, the focus was on charity, which is not really CSR. Sustainable CSR programmes
mean a cohesive mix of economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic tenets. In today's changed
business scenario, there is an increased focus on giving back to society and creating a model
which works long term and is sustainable and it is imperative that the best practices for inclusive
growth are shared with the stakeholders. Recent rash of scandals involving major corporate
giants throughout the world have brought to the attention of public and academia the need to
analyze these issues.
Corporate
Satyam

Scandals:
Story:

Satyam was recognized for its work with the Byrraju Foundation, founded by Ramalinga Raju,
Chairman of Satyam Computers. Byrraju Foundation builds progressive, self-reliant rural
communities in India through a holistic, transformational approach. The foundation provides a
broad range of services to villagers, including Healthcare, Education, Literacy, Water,
Environment, Sanitation, Livelihoods, and Disability Rehabilitation. Satyam was specifically
honored for its participation in The Byrraju Foundations program to provide remote
electrocardiograms (EKGs) check ups to villagers all over Andhra Pradesh. So far, the Byrraju
Foundations work has impacted more than 3 million people in 199 villages in six districts of
Andhra Pradesh, a state of 80 million people in Southern India. It will expand into other states
shortly. A spokesperson for UKTI said "This is the first year that we instituted a Corporate Social
Responsibility Award which was awarded to Satyam Computers for the work of its foundations
in rural India and the establishment of the Emergency Management Research Institute (Popularly
known as 108 services)which draws on Satyam's technology to improve the responsiveness of
India's emergency services. We believe that Corporate Social Responsibility is about giving back
to the community and promoting inclusive values in corporate organizations and that Satyam
Computers has demonstrated this in full measure.

If we look at the present situation its chairman Rama Linga Raju is in the jail for misleading
stake holders and government for wrong accounting practices , the Bairaju Foundation is about
to close. This is the situation in India regarding CSR. In order to tackle this case the Indian
government should learn lessons from the western governments who were successful in timely
punishing the offenders.
Labor

Law

Problems:

labor law violations as a major problem in India's garment industry: "Workers are not being paid
even statutory wages, as payment is linked to reaching unreasonably high production targets-simply put, unpaid overtime. In short, the global outsourcing world has a long way to go merely
to attain legal compliance.
When subcontractors--even those that are subject to monitoring--still routinely violate local labor
law, CSR programs and their advocates may be muddying the waters. The advocacy community
presents wage demands--e.g. the demand that subcontractors pay a living wage--which is
asprational. But urging multinationals to pay higher wages assumes that legal wages are already
being paid.
Let's look at this situation in a real context. With its marketing strategy built on rhetoric of
social justice, The Timberland Company is a multinational that plays actively in the CSR field.
The company's recently released 2004 CSR report includes a breakdown of factory violations by
category that closely mirrors the FLA breakdown, with "compensation (i.e., minimum wage)
the second highest category of violations (12%). By definition, violations of this part of
Timberland's code of conduct constitute primarily violations of law. Timberland's CSR report
claims the company is stepping up its program "from compliance to enablement. If companies
merely ensured that their suppliers obeyed the law that could bring economic restitution to
millions of workers whose pay is purposely miscalculated.
Human

Rights

Issues:

However, a legal linkage does exist through standard manufacturing contracts, which contain
compliance clauses, and a recent case suggests that such contract language can have teeth. In
Doe vs. Unocal, Burmese workers who suffered human rights abuses on a pipeline project

brought suit against Unocal, which was a partner in the project. Commenting on the findings, the
Chapman Law Review noted, future plaintiffs seem on firm ground for pursuing corporations in
federal courtfor their human rights abuses abroad. Such plaintiffs may have even greater
success pursuing comparable state claims based on state constitutional and statutory provisions
forbidding forced labor, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment.
The Unocal case "shows that corporations have both direct and indirect human rights
responsibilities," says Susan Aaronson, director of globalization studies at the Kenyan Institute, a
Washington think tank. Today, human rights cases usually stem from extreme physical abuses,
but society's concept of what constitutes "abuses will likely continue to expand. If labor laws
are consistently broken with the knowledge of business partners, this could conceivably be
considered "unjust enrichment. Apart from the above situations the following examples are
worth reading regarding MNC attitude towards Indian people.
Example

No.1

Bhopal

Gas

Disaster

In the year1984 chemical gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. Referred as
the worst industrial disaster in human history, on the horrific night of December 2nd and 3rd,
more than 40 tons of the deadly gas methyl iso cyan ate escaped from the pesticide factory.
Approximately half a million people were exposed to the gas and 20,000 have died to date as a
result of their exposure. More than 120,000 people continue to suffer from severe health ailments
related to the accident and contamination. In 2001, the US-based gigantic Dow Chemical
purchased Union Carbide, thereby acquiring its assets and liabilities. However it has been
steadfastly refusing to clean up the site, provide safe drinking water or compensate the victims,
or even disclose the composition of the gas leak, Dow, like UCIL earlier, claims that it has no
liability of the past. The Dow Chemical Company, with annual sales of $28 billion, says in its
web site: it is committed to the principles of Sustainable Development and its approximately
50,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities.
Example

No.2

In the year 2001 the Unilever Company has dumped 300 metric tones of mercury at Kodaikanal
located

at

South

India.

As a contrast to the above activity the Unilever website states, We are committed to conducting

our operations with integrity and with respect for the interests of our stakeholders..We are also
committed to making continuous improvements in the management of our environmental
impacts and to working towards our longer term goal of developing a sustainable business.
In order to tackle above situations a new initiative has taken by Government of India, that is
CREP, or The Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Protection initiated by the Indian
government recently this year in 2003, is a case in point. A guideline for a set of non-mandatory
norms for 17 polluting industrial sectors has been set but there is no real pressure for
implementation or internalization. An ethical being which claims to respect the earth cannot have
discontinuities in its practices. Ethical practices have to place in an integrity framework, and that
implies at the very least a lack of multiple ways of being. This can be no different for
individuals as for companies. Contrast to the above news the Unilever website states All
Unilever companies must comply with local laws and adopt the same standards for occupational
health and safety, consumer safety and environmental care.
Conclusion:
In India, till very recently, the focus was on charity, which is not really CSR. Sustainable CSR
programmes mean a cohesive mix of economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic tenets. In today's
changed business scenario, there is an increased focus on giving back to society and creating a
model which works long term and is sustainable and it is imperative that the best practices for
inclusive growth are shared with the stakeholders. Getting multinationals to comply with local
laws is not an easy task. Many countries, north and south, do not direct sufficient resources to
enforcement. Management practices that evade regulations persist. Furthermore, labor laws can
indeed be difficult to interpret. But suppliers, companies, and countries can't point to these
difficulties to elude legal accountability. Legal compliance will be hard to achieve, whether
within the CSR rubric or not, but extracting legal compliance from CSR has the advantage of
bringing to light a range of workplace and wage issues that companies are required by law to
attend to. Finally the author of this paper hopes that the companies attitude towards CSR is more
on transformation rather than giving information in web sites.
Suggestions:
# Provide greater incentive for companies to focus on first keeping the law. Corporate leaders

and their general counsels would give compliance issues a higher priority if they recognized the
risk of increased scrutiny on the legal angle of their global operations. In Timberland's case, its
sole performance indicator for monitoring is "percentage of factories assessed. If the company
were mandated to report legal compliance, this would be a much stronger indicator of actual
working

conditions.

# Give greater accuracy to CSR ratings. Company CSR assessment questionnaires frequently
put more emphasis on aspirational issues. While legal compliance is also included, it is not
meaningfully probed. The socially responsible investment community would do well to separate
out legal requirements and form one assessment on these, and then evaluate a company on
"beyond

compliance

issues.

# Support company compliance staff, who must often make unpopular requests. In the
experience of many staff, it seems as if upper management must be persuaded to support not only
CSR goals, but regulatory recommendations as well, e.g., factory reimbursement of workers who
were

not

paid

legally.

# Increase the number of companies engaged in these issues. If companies regard factory
monitoring as a potential legal liability, they are more likely to attend to it whether or not they
have a penchant for CSR.1
References:
References:
1. Cragg, Wesley, Ethics Codes, Corporations and the Challenge of Globalization, 2005. Goel,
Ran, Guide to Instruments of Corporate Responsibility: An overview of 16 tools for labour fund
trustees,

2005.

2. Bohman, Anna and Minter, Graham, International Initiatives to Promote Responsible


Business:

Confusion

or

Coherence?

International

Business

leaders

Forum,

2007.

3. The 181 member states of the ILO, and their workers and employers organizations founded
in
4.

1919.
For

more

information:

www.ilo.org

Last

visited

20th

November,

1 http://www.legalserviceindia.com/article/l362-Corporate-Social-Responsibility.html

2008

5. OECD, Corporate Responsibility: Private Initiatives and Public Goals, OECD, 2001
6. OECD, Environment and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: Corporate Tools
and

Approaches,

OECD,

2005

7. OECD, Policies for Promoting Responsible Business Conduct, in Policy Framework for
Investment:

Review

of

Good

Practices,

2006

8. OECD, Chapter 7: Policies for Promoting Responsible Business Conduct, in Policy


Framework

for

Investment,

2006

9. For more information: www.oecd.org/daf/investment/guidelines Last visited 12th October,


2008.
10. For more information See : www.unglobalcompact.org Last Visited 22nd October, 2008
11. United Nations, Business and Human Rights: Mapping International Standards of
Responsibility and Accountability for Corporate Acts, Report of the Special Representative of
the

Secretary-General,

2007.

12. United Nations, Human Rights Council, Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights,
Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development,
Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights, Report of the
Special
13.

The

Representative
World

Bank,

Doing

http://www.doingbusiness.org/

of

the

Business

2008,

Last

visited

Secretary-General,
Accessed
22nd

from

the

2008.
Web

December,

site:
2008.

14. For CSR Practices in India see: www.karmayog.org/csr Last visited 22nd December, 2008.
15. Leonard, D., McAdam, R. (2003), "Corporate social responsibility", Quality Progress: ASQ
Magazine,

No.

October,

pp.27-32.

16. Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications, Friday, Oct 12, 2007, e Paper
17. Forerunners in corporate social responsibility, The Indian Express March 16, 2005

EXAMPLES OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE


There has been renewed interest in the corporate governance practices of modern
corporationssince 2001, particularly due to the high-profile collapses of a number of large U.S.
firms

suchasEnron Corpor ation andM C I I n c .

( f o r m e r l y Wor l d C o m ) . I n 2 0 0 2 , t h e U . S . f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t p a s s e d t h e Sarb
ane s-Oxley Act , i n t e n d i n g t o r e s t o r e p u b l i c c o n f i d e n c e i n corporate
governance
ENRON Case
The Company discloses that it overstated its earnings by $567 million since 1997.
Twocompany officials are fired. Enron, once one of the world's largest electricity and
naturalg a s t r a d e r s , f i l e s f o r C h a p t e r 1 1 b a n k r u p t c y p r o t e c t i o n . S l o p p
y b o a r d o v e r s i g h t , imaginative accounting, off-balance sheet financing, and a criminal
CFO are some of ther e a s o n s w h i c h w a s b y t h e m e d i a . B u t i t i s m o r e o f
c o m e t o m i n d . B u t t h o s e a r e superficial, not decisive, at root more consequences than
causes according to an analyst.
Enron did not fail because of creative bookkeeping, for instance, but was creative
in bookkeeping because it was failing. Enron collapsed chiefly because its managers were paid
to aim at the wrong financial measures, and consequently, its internal system
of financial controls was a shambles.
SATYAM Saga
On January 7
,2008 Ramalinga Raju tendered his resignation and confessed to a close toRs 7,800-crore
accounting fraud. The episode has international ramifications. Satyamserves as the
back office for some of the largest banks, manufacturers, and
healthcarea n d m e d i a c o m p a n i e s i n t h e w o r l d , h a n d l i n g e v e r y t h i n g f r o m c o m
p u t e r s ys t e m s t o customer service. Shareholders have lost Rs 13,600 crore in Satyam shares
in less than amonth. The market capitalization fell to Rs 1,607.04 crore on January
9, 2008, from Rs1 5 , 2 6 2 c r o r e a t t h e e n d o f t r a d e o n D e c e m b e r 1 6 , 2 0 0 8 , t h e
d a y w h e n S a t y a m h a d announced the Rs-8,000 crore acquisition deal of two firms

promoted by the kin of theIT firms former chairman Ramalinga Raju. According to
the recent New York Timesreport, Investigators looking into the fraud have found a maze of
about 300 companiesrelated to Raju that were used to siphon as much as $1 billion in cash from
Satyam. Fromthe very latest investigation news from Andhra Pradesh police who has
Raju(SatyamCEO) in custody revealed a more interesting tactic used to loot the money. Out of
53,000employees, 10,000 employees were fake and money was laundered through the
fake10,000 paychecks every month

"Corporate Governance is concerned with holding the balance betweeneconomic and social goals
and between individual and communal goals. The corporategovernance framework is there to
encourage the efficient use of resources and equally torequire accountability for the stewardship
of those resources. The aim is to align as nearlyas possible the interests of individuals,
corporations and society.""Corporate governance is about promoting corporate fairness,
transparency andaccountability" J. Wolfensohn, president of the
Word bank
, as quoted by an article in
Financial Times
, June 21, 1999.Corporate governance comprises the systems and processes which
ensure theefficient functioning of the firm in a transparent manner for the benefit of all
thestakeholders and accountable to them. The focus is on relationship between owners and board
in directing and controlling companies as legal entities in perpetuity. A companysability to
create wealth for its owners however, depends on the role and freedom given toit by society.
Sir Adrian Cadbury in his preface to the World Bank publication, CorporateGovernance: A
Framework for Implementation; states that, Corporate Governance isholding the balance
between economic and social goals and between individual andcommunity goals. The
governance framework is there to encourage the efficient use of resources and equally to require
accountability for the stewardship of these resources.The aim is to align as nearly as possible the
interest of individuals, corporations andsociety. The incentive to corporations is to achieve their
corporate aims and to attractinvestment. The incentive for state is to strengthen their economies
and discourage fraudand mismanagement The focus on corporate governance arises out of the
large dependencies of companies on financial markets as the preeminent source of capital. The

quality of corporate governance shapes the future and the growth of the capital market.
Strongcorporate governance is indispensable to resilient and vibrant capital market. In thecontext
of globalization, capital is likely to flow to markets which are well regulated and practice
high standards of transparency, efficiency and integrity.
BENEFITS OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:

Good governance leads to congruence of interests of boards, managementincluding owner


managers and shareholders.

Good governance provides stability and growth to the company.

Good governance system builds confidence among investors.

Good governance reduces perceived risks, consequently reducing cost of capital.

Well governed companies enthuse employees to acquire and develop companyspecific skills.

Adoption of good corporate governance practices promotes stability and longterm sustenance of
stakeholders relationship.

Potential stakeholders aspire to enter into relationships with enterprises whosegovernance


credentials are exemplary.
Normative Theory of Corporate Governance:
In the context of globalization of operations of corporations and integration of financial markets,
the question whether any universal normative principles can be laiddown has assumed
significance since corporate governance provisions and practicesdiffer from country to country.
The basis for universal normative standards on corporategovernance is to be found in the
German critical theory which elaborated a welldeveloped normative ethical theory.