Corporations, CSR and Self Regulation: What lessons from the Global Financial Crisis?

Engobo Emeseh, Rhuks Ako, Patrick Okonmah, Lawrence Ogechukwu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current global financial crisis has necessitated a questioning of some of the fundamental theories and assumptions, particularly the free-market theory, on which regulation of business enterprises, including multinational corporations (MNCs), have been based. Specifically, in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR), this paper explores two crucial issues. The first is the implication for our understanding of the obligations of corporations to CSR in light of the scale of impacts on ordinary citizens, and their role in bailing out failed banks which owed them no direct legal obligations. The second is the continued reliance on a voluntary framework for CSR. Just as the financial crisis resulted from the largely unregulated nature of global financial institutions, this paper demonstrates, through various country examples in the resources sector, that the unregulated nature of CSR obligations on MNCs has had dire effects, comparable to that of the financial crisis, on populations. If corporations have, through personal greed and irresponsibility, evidently failed to effectively regulate themselves even in their core areas of business necessary for their own survival, how much less do we expect of effective self-regulation in the area of CSR?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-259
Number of pages30
JournalGerman Law Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2010


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