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Social Strategy & Corporate Structure

Social Strategy & Corporate Structure

This new work by Neil W. Chamberlain will be of great importance to the business community -- and to all those charged with defining the role large corporations play in the affairs of society.

Social Strategy and Corporate Structure is an objective, indepth examination of the organizational requirements of a social role for large-scale business. The role Neil Chamberlain presents is one of heroic dimensions: the political choice of goals, the strategic allocation of resources, and the tactical operations of the mechanisms of production.

While there has been much discussion of corporate social responsibility, few have investigated the ways its structure will have to change if the corporation is to pursue a strategy that is both economic and social. This timely book integrates a large number of issues involving corporate activities and governance that go directly to the heart of this problem.

In step-by-step detail, Chamberlain analyzes the organizational imperatives of this new age of social responsibility: the composition and functions of boards of directors and the relation of their duties to a broad system of national planning; the internal social audit; changes in the characteristics of corporate social planning; and proposals for restructuring ultimate corporate authority, either through public or outside directors. In addition, he examines the potential relevance of federal chartering of corporations, and the effects of international economic interdependence on the development of a new corporate social strategy.

This book is not a detailed blueprint for change. Rather, it presents a thorough, systematic study of available courses of action for improvement, based on the principle that conventional notions of corporate independence will have to be modified for any social strategy to work. And while not everyone will agree with Neil Chamberlain, few can afford to ignore his provocative insights into what corporations must do to function effectively in a changed social environment.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 172 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416576457 | 
  • September 2007
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Uncertain Relation between Business and Society

The corporation in America was first and foremost a political expression performing a public economic function. The colonies transplanted a mercantilist European society. The central tenet of mercantilism was the integration of the social order within the nation-state, which had become the parochial and secular substitute for the declining Roman Catholic church. The advancement of the state was intended to contribute to the welfare of its people, and that political objective affected the character of the state's instrumentalities. Thus, in colonial America, no less... see more

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