From Corporate Disregard to Corporate Embrace of Stakeholder Capital to Socially-Embedded Corporations

I flew to Singapore to read an invited paper on Monday April 13, 2009 for the Fifth International Research Workshop on Asian Business sponsored by the Singapore Management University. My paper is entitled “Corporate Social Responsibility and Emergent Models in Management of Stakeholder Capital in Philippine Conglomerates.” That’s a mouthful, so let me share with you the gist in bullet points:

  • The 10 richest Filipinos are mostly Chinese-Filipinos with their own conglomerates and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
  • They are politically and economically influential; and the paper examines indications whether and how they are developmentally influential.
  • Philippine corporations’ attitudes to stakeholder capital (the external component of relationship capital) have been evolving, from disregard in the 1970s to being committed in 2000s.
  • Corporate attention to their stakeholders was basically government-driven in the earlier periods, but the growing CSR practice in the Philippines has been internally-driven; now, corporations better recognize stakeholder capital and its contribution to their value creation.
  • One of the Chinese-Filipino patriarchs, John Gokongwei Jr. recently announced he will donate half of his personal wealth to various charities.
  • CSR is a “retrofit” which leaves the fundamental corporate structure untouched.
  • New models seem to be emerging which may be harbingers of new corporate models driven by socially-responsible goals.
  • The new corporate characteristics are: more networking and partnerships with civil society, bridging leaderships, more innovative and socially-responsible investment (SRI), greater community engagement and reinvention of global supply chains towards “triple bottom line.” Corporations are less and less the enclaves they were.
  • I call this emergent model the socially-embedded corporation.

I end my paper with a teaser question.

If, as many observe, (a) the global economic crisis is a “wake up call” to flaws in the US economic model, and (b) the global economic center of gravity has been moving towards East Asia, then the question is: what, if any, are the emergent economic models in East Asia, and in China in particular?

Click here to get: a copy of my paper (pre-publication draft) and a copy of my PowerPoint presentation.

Cheers!

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3 Responses to “From Corporate Disregard to Corporate Embrace of Stakeholder Capital to Socially-Embedded Corporations”

  1. BoardRoom DIscussions Says:

    I think the reason why CSR is being embraced now by local companies is globalization. The market in the west particular not only of how the products/services are produced, but how the establishments are contributing to the community and environment.

    Good corporate governance matter in the eyes of the international community

  2. apintalisayon Says:

    Thanks for reminding me, Sonnie. Can I incorporate that in my paper revision, of course with proper acknowledgement of you?

  3. Sonnie Says:

    No prob here

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