The chapter investigates the impact of employee participation on the board of directors or supervisory board (particularly codetermination) on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Conceptually, it is important to distinguish between ?internal? and ?external? CSR.
Internal CSR relates to practices of the firm regarding groups with which it is in a long-term contractual relationship such as employees. Employee participation systems serve to protect employees from shareholder opportunism and shift the balance in the distribution of corporate rents in favor of employees, which is why they clearly have an impact on internal CSR. The situation is much less clear for external CSR, which is concerned with effects of corporate activities that are externalities, for example pollution. I argue that there may sometimes be a tradeoff between internal and external CSR: If a firm is more profitable because it scores badly in terms of external CSR (e.g. because it habitually pollutes), employees may benefit similarly as shareholders. In fact, the interests of shareholders and employees may be largely aligned in this respect, with both either benefiting or being harmed concurrently.
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The idea that a corporation’s employees should be allowed to elect some of the corporation’s board members, a system known as codetermination, has moved to the forefront of U.S. corporate law policy. Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act...Read more
Using U.S. state legislatures’ staggered adoption of constituency statutes over a 24-year period (1984–2007) as a quasi-natural experiment, we show that greater stakeholder orientation significantly increases firms’ inventory efficiency. Further...Read more
We examine whether reducing frictions in the labor market affects the performance of private and public firms. Using the staggered adoption of state-level Paid Family Leave acts, we provide causal evidence on the value created by relieving...Read more