International Business Law
A body corporate is the most common form of business organization that is distinguishable by five characteristics; legal personality, limited liability, delegated management, transferable shares, and investor ownership. These characteristics would be common to any corporate entity regardless of their country of origin. In the wake of globalization, corporates are increasingly establishing themselves further and further away from home; all this in the ultimate pursuit of meeting the expectations of their shareholders. In a nutshell therefore, corporate entities are foremost accountable to their investors who in most cases will demand profitability and success.
However, the pursuit of profits should not be the single most important issue. Corporate entities in their interactions with the public and consumers of its products or services must ensure that the need to capitalize on the profits does not blind them over other matters such as codes of conduct, social responsibility, and emerging ethical concerns. To achieve this, governments should formulate policies that seek to foster a closer relationship with business entities especially where the law cannot work. A robust policy on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) coordinated by the government may develop a culture of giving back to the society whilst reminding the entities that they are also accountable to the world beyond their areas of business. This has been witnessed by the recent interest that companies like Chevron have shown in the development of clean energy. In the interest of the public, the governments should also put into law some standards and codes of conduct that will discourage unhealthy competition whose manifestation may be expressed by unethical conducts like the News of World phone hacking scandal. In some cases, an independent regulatory body might be necessary.
Chevron. Corporate Responsibilty. 24 01 2014. 30 01 2014. <http://www.chevron.com/corporateresponsibility/?utm_campaign=US_Corporate_Responsibility_-_CSR&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_term=social_responsibility&utm_content=s0uCxklR5_dc|pcrid|19965636169|pkw|social%20responsibility|pmt|p>.
—. Corporate Responsiblity. 23 01 2014. 30 01 2014.
—. Corporate Responsiblity. 24 01 2014. <http://www.chevron.com/corporateresponsibility/?utm_campaign=US_Corporate_Responsibility_-_CSR&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_term=social_responsibility&utm_content=s0uCxklR5_dc|pcrid|19965636169|pkw|social%20responsibility|pmt|p>.
Exxon Mobil. Antitrust and Competition Law Compliance Guide. Irving, Texas: Print, 2010.
King, Mervyn. The corporate citizen: governance for all entities. London: Penguin Books, 2006.
Lee, Harris. Mastering Corporations and Other Business Entities. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2009.