Corporate Truth: The Limits To Transparency by Adrian Henriques

By Adrian Henriques

Within the company jungle inhabited through Enrons and WorldComs, an absence of transparency is the basis of all scandal, but supplying transparency turns out immensely tough with the customarily competing pursuits of shareholders, company forums, executive regulators, and different stakeholders. Written by means of famous company social accountability practitioner Adrian Henriques and drawing on an unlimited wealth of real-life examples from the industrial international, this vigorous company e-book is going looking for the perfect limits of transparency. From advertisement confidentiality to the ethics of promoting to lobbying and company corruption, the writer addresses the placement, importance, and bounds of transparency in sleek company lifestyles and works throughout the dilemmas that the expanding demands transparency current. From the secrets and techniques of the board room to the struggles of NGOs, transparency is a chronic challenge–how a lot is adequate? How a lot can we want? How can we do it? This publication, splendid to enterprise leaders and executives, specialists and company scholars alike addresses those questions and extra.

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First, that companies are people and second, that they are in some sense ‘members’ of society, in the same way that human citizens are. This suggests that they would naturally work in harmony with their society; in other words that ‘corporate citizens’ are also ‘good citizens’. Yet for multinational companies, with operations across the world and wholly-owned subsidiaries in many different countries, it is not obvious what ‘their society’ might mean in practice – particularly when there are significant differences in the values people hold in the countries in question.

This view was not shared by Margaret Thatcher, who famously denied the existence of society (Thatcher, 1987), although she did venture so far as to suggest that the family existed as well as individuals. But just as individuals are not only the collection of their individual cells, and we can’t escape our moral responsibility by asking the cells responsible to step forward, so companies must also be more than the collection of humans who operate within them. While a common sense view of companies might be that they can’t really do things ‘under their own power’, in practice most people treat companies as moral persons.

Peter French and Kevin Gibson (French, 1979; Gibson, 1995) have defined some conditions which appear to work for ordinary people and, they are keen to show, also work for companies. The conditions are first, that the person is liable to be held to account for their acts, and second, that they actively intended to do them, or that they passively (negligently) failed to do something. The active form of the second condition (in which there is an intention) is based on the structure of criminal law, while the passive form (implying negligence) is based on that of civil law.

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