Solving a Global Legal Problem of Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Making it Effective

Benedict Sheehy, Ying Chen, Maria Maria Roszkowska-Menkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Over the decades, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly important, expanding its reach across the globe. CSR does a number of tasks: it provides a governance framework for business, a business practice, and increasingly, a form of regulation. From a legal point of view, CSR is a form of soft law evolving into hard law. This Article explores that evolution focusing on mandatory CSR reporting understanding it as law. Such reporting is a critical regulatory tool in pressuring and holding business organizations accountable for sustainability in their operations. Through examining CSR reporting as phenomena of wide interest, the Article provides significant insight into how CSR reporting works as a form of global governance, how it works as regulation, and how the accounting profession has contributed to its development. Building on this understanding, the Article then examines how CSR reporting is evolving as law, shifting from voluntary to mandatory, and how it coalesces with existing law. Finally, the Article contributes to CSR discourse by analyzing CSR reporting social science and proposing regulatory solutions which are more likely to work and avoid the unintended consequences that bedevil much regulatory reform. Thus, while arguing that mandatory CSR reporting stands as a pivotal approach in improving CSR performance, this Article provides insight into the models of disclosure in terms of their legal nature, their potential unintended consequences, and potential regulatory solutions. Such information is particularly valuable to policy makers, business leaders, and civil society activists seeking to connect global business regulation aimed at sustainability to local problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-314
Number of pages33
JournalDenver Journal of International Law and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


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