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See detailL’innovation au regard des valeurs et finalités de l’entreprise et de sa responsabilité sociale : un regard européen
Corbisier, Isabelle UL

in Revue juridique Thémis de l'Université de Montréal (2019), 53

The link between CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and innovation is ambiguous. On the one hand, it seems well established that CSR promotes innovation but, on the other hand, innovation does not ... [more ▼]

The link between CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and innovation is ambiguous. On the one hand, it seems well established that CSR promotes innovation but, on the other hand, innovation does not necessarily lead to a socially responsible behavior. CSR consists in an enterprise’s voluntary behaviour seeking to maximize positive externalities and, conversely, minimize the negative externalities of its activity on society, understanding that mere compliance with the applicable legal system does not suffice to assess it as socially responsible. The origins of CSR go back in time but the recent focus on this concept appears to be related to the recent economic globalization movement based on neoclassical economics initiated in the sixties-seventies. Its soft law character (as opposed to the so-called hard law), one that also applies to the corporate governance movement, marks the decline of the state to the benefit of the market in the regulation of the economic agents’ behavior. However, and particularly since the 2008 financial crisis, one observes a “return of the repressed,” namely of state regulation as the CSR rules and principles constitute a sort of “unstable chemical status” (an expression borrowed from M. Doucin) as its contents can mutate into a hard law status or, conversely, can lead to some sort of “softening” of hard law. In the end, the efficiency of CSR rules resides in the interaction between private regulation and public regulation with, most recently, a tendency towards rebalancing to the benefit of public regulation– without, however, pretending to erase or minimize the contribution of private regulation. The present article illustrates this phenomenon by investigating some recent evolutions of European company law as well as within two of its member states (namely France and Belgium) [less ▲]

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