The Increasingly Visible Hand of Government behind Corporate Citizenship & Conscious Capitalism

Breena E. Coates


This paper examines three recent and significant policy actions by the governments in India, the United States, and the European Union that make dramatic changes in how global societies view corporate behavior in the home and host country regions where economic benefits are accrued. These interventions point to growth of sharper policy instruments to push for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations in nation states. The familiar concept CSR has spun-off important notions of Corporate Citizenship, and Consciousness Capitalism. Both of these conceptualizations build on Elkington’s Triple Bottom Line (TBL)—which remains the central tenet of CSR philosophy. This paper discusses the three cases of government interventions in India, U.S. and EU. It argues that the new era of an increasingly visible hand of government has dawned to counteract market failure on the TBL, and to foster national and global sustainability values.

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