Readers Debate: Can Legislation Shame Companies into Doing Good?

by Aman Singh Das | March 25, 2010

  • My Vault

Yesterday I put out a highly contentious blog regarding the pros and cons of making CSR reporting mandatory for all businesses by law. This wasn't my idea. It was espoused by Indian Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid at a corporate responsibility conference with business leaders.

For sure, it produced a frenzy of debates and discussions in Twittersphere as well as on Vault.com. Below are some of the many comments I received over the course of the day.

Mandating change

"Mandating CSR is like telling children to behave; then they look for every excuse to impress u or hide reality. I believe [that] change cannot occur without a new format of education that impacts change for a sustainable society relative to health and environment."

Mix of legislation and incentives

"I think a combination of legislation, tax incentives & free market effect will work best BUT reporting must be way more accessible than now (not just CSR Reports on shelf)."

Incentives breed creativity

"I don't think it should--that's an archaic way to promote good behavior and [it] begets cheating. Now, incentives on the other hand to breed creativity rather than check off boxes--that would be something. I bet in India it would cost a lot more to administer CSR law than to share incentives and/or reward companies that meet positive criteria."

One size doesn't fit all

"One size doesn't fit all in reporting, [and it] becomes very hard to regulate and get meaningful answers."

Do you have something to add? Jump in and share your insight! Leave a comment or ping us on Twitter @VaultCSR!

Filed Under: CSR

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