As social enterprise has gained in profile, there has been a proliferation of new hybrid corporate forms that combine the pursuit of both profits and social objectives, and the creator of the popular benefit corporation is currently lobbying to introduce ‘benefit companies’ in Australia. While they are well-intended, this chapter queries whether these new structures are ultimately just a sideshow to distract from the failure to reform expectations surrounding traditional corporations, which are often wrongly presented as inadequate to support socially responsible business practices. Might the spread of hybrids inadvertently serve to ghettoise expectations for socially beneficial and sustainable corporate behaviour? This chapter briefly describes the new structures that have emerged. It then argues that directors’ duties owed to the traditional corporation do not preclude the consideration of other stakeholders and that the arguments in favour of the hybrids skew our understanding of the traditional corporation and obscure the need for socially responsible conduct on the part of traditional corporations. The chapter finally argues against adopting a hybrid form in Australia.
|Title of host publication||Creating corporate sustainability|
|Subtitle of host publication||Gender as an agent for change|
|Editors||Beate Sjafjell, Irene Lynch-Fannon|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - May 2018|