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The Stakeholder Fiduciary: CSR, Governance and the Future of Boards

April 28, 2006
  • BSR spark

    BSR Staff

This paper explores how corporate boards do, could and should relate to the CSR agenda. In equal shares, it observes the present and envisions the future, seeking to both position the board as an agent of CSR under current rules and show how to reconstitute it under different rules that may emerge in the coming decades. Our core premise is this: the board's current posture is incommensurate with the changing nature of the social contract between business and society, and with the attendant opportunities and risks that lie ahead. This incongruity must be corrected if the board is to function in a way that enables the firm to create and allocate long-term wealth in a form consistent with 21st century needs and expectations. In short, it is time to transform the board from a shareholder fiduciary to a stakeholder fiduciary.


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