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61. International Corporate Responsibility Series: Volume > 4
Daniel W. Skubik Fethullah Gülen, Islamic Banking, and Global Finance
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Fethullah Gülen, a leader of interfaith and intercultural dialogue, writes of “humanity’s vicegerency” that includes “reaping the bounties of the Earth . . . within the framework of the Creator’s orders and rules.” What might this mean for international business ethics in general, and the expansion of Islamic banking practices and global financial ethics in particular? Forthrightness and transparency are critical in the contemporary development and spread of what are nominated Islamic or shariah-compliant financial products and services. This paper seeks to explore the advantages of acceptably disparate analyses of shariah-compliance, by suggesting how a Gülen-like religion-state symphonia can evolve. The resulting arrangement of financial affairs would thus allow for real diversity inbanking options for all sorts of clients, carving out a space for secular and religious-based institutions, alike, in the global marketplace.
62. International Corporate Responsibility Series: Volume > 4
Ahmed Koudri The Social Responsibility of the Public Enterprise: A Case Study of Sonatrach in Algeria
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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the meaning and scope of social responsibility in a state-owned enterprise. Is corporate social responsibility (CSR) a meaningful concept for a state-owned enterprise, as opposed to a privately-owned corporation, given that it is created with social as well as economic aims? To try to answer to this question, the case of Sonatrach, an Algerian oil company, is examined. The lack of statistical data does not allow an assessment of CSR actions undertaken by this company since 2004. The analysis identifies two main obstacles to the effectiveness of CSR in state-owned enterprises: (a) the system of internal governance ischaracterized by a lack of control; (b) the competitive and social environment is characterized by a partial application of the logic of the market, which does not allow the optimal allocation of means.
63. International Corporate Responsibility Series: Volume > 4
Saad Al-Harran A Proposed Strategic Alliance between the Qatar Foudation and the Al-Jazeera Channel to Face the Challenges of the 21st Century
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The paper highlights the importance of a strategic alliance between the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community and the Al-Jazeera International Channel. Secondly, we discuss the global outlook as to how Qatar can position itself on the world map as knowledge-based nation and a land of innovative ideas. Thirdly, we analyse the new role of Islamic finance in social responsibility and why investment in social capital is vitally important in a challenging world. We select four Muslim countries that Qatar should consider for human capital investment purposes—Egypt (the brain and heart of the Arab world), Syria, Turkey, and Malaysia—and justify this selection. Fourthly, we discuss a new role for the Aljazeera International Channel as a promoter of successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the Muslim World, to show what real Islamic finance is. Finally, the challenges ahead are discussed and policy recommendations suggested.
64. International Corporate Responsibility Series: Volume > 4
Siti Musa The Relationship Between Food Security and Trade Liberalization: Assessing the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Agriculture and the Role of Transnational Corporations
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This paper addresses the issue of food security in developing countries and how agriculture plays an important role in achieving not only food security, but also in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development. The promotion of trade liberalization by the World Trade Organization (WTO) through the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) has undermined the productive capacity of developing countries and their comparative advantage in the agricultural sector, marginalizing small-scale farmers and benefitting the big corporations. The paper looks at the issue of intellectual property rights that big corporations have for seeds and their effects on small-scale farmers, and how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is insufficient to regulate the dominance of big corporations in the food and agricultural market. The paper is divided into seven sections: trade liberalization and food security, the WTO and the AoA, the effects of the AoA on developing countries, the role of transnational corporations (TNCs) on food security, CSR and TNCs, policy recommendations, and conclusions.
65. International Corporate Responsibility Series: Volume > 4
Muhammad Z. Mamun, Mohammad Aslam Conflicting Approaches of Managers and Stockholders in a Developing Country: Bangladesh Perspective
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In general it is found that the corporate managers and stockholders possess totally different view about good governance of a company. Managers strongly believe that governance of their companies is quite well but stockholders view that it is very poor. The study found that the groups differ in perception especially in terms of turnover, production, capital, leverage, debt service, credit policy, solvency, human resource, recruitment, technology, customer satisfaction, internal control, strength, opportunity, competition, industry position, collective bargaining agent (CBA) issues, and economic remedies; whereas, they have similar view in terms of adequacy of research fund, company weaknesses and threats, contingency plans, presence of political influence. The managers think that the companies do not have enough retained earnings and these should not be distributed among stockholders, but the stockholders thinkotherwise. Managers always perceive that they are underpaid whereas stockholders express the opposite view. Each group believes that it is the other group that dominates the decision-making. Both the group wants to have mutual interaction but stockholders want to interact more than the mangers. The study noted that corporate managers’ tenure is more with the company than a stockholder’s holding of stock. The study also found that the managers are better educated than the stockholders. The study observed serious gender biasness both in management position and stockholding of the corporations. Though both the groups belong to same age level but their distribution shows stockholders enter into the share market at an early age.
66. International Corporate Responsibility Series: Volume > 4
Irina Soboleva Internal CSR Practices: Social Dialogue Versus Corporate Paternalism (Case of Russia)
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The paper is focused upon the relations of key inside stakeholders—managers and employees whose interests are supposed to be represented by trade unions while shaping internal CSR practices. It discusses real, perceived and desired role of TU in the process and the outcomes of internal CSR in the fields of work related security and access to social benefits. It is demonstrated that the internal social policy of corporate management pursues pragmatic goals seeking the least costly way to compete for skilled manpower and accumulate human capital. The role of TU is chiefly limited to assisting the management in distribution of social benefits. As a result the benefit distribution contributes to social inequality patterns inside corporation. It is safe to conclude that so far the internal CSR patterns in Russia are formed under a mixture of pragmatic and paternalistic reasons with minor traces of social dialogue.
67. International Corporate Responsibility Series: Volume > 4
Takuya Takahashi CSR that Incorporates Local and Traditional Knowledge: The Sampo-yoshi Way
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This paper examines prospects for and content of a global regime for human rights. Competing schools of thought forecast convergence and divergence of national standards under stress of globalization. No such regime exists, and there is no compelling theory of international corporate social responsibility. However, elements of an emerging global regime can be identified and partially overlap with environmental protection issues. This regime is highly fragmented, underdeveloped, and only partially enforceable—but it is in development. The UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), ISO 26000 (expected in 2010), the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) of 1789 and the permanent international criminal court established in 2002 are illustrations of such elements. The third Ruggie Report, issued 2008, is an important summary of conditions and proposes a strategy for forward progress. Human rights impose important obligations on multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating across highly diverse political, legal, and cultural realities.
68. International Corporate Responsibility Series: Volume > 4
Esther M. J. Schouten The Process of Embedding Human Rights within Subsidiaries of a Multinational Corporation
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Multinational companies (MNCs) can have positive and negative impacts on the human rights situation of a country. More and more MNCs have made a commitment to respect human rights. So far, little research has been done on how MNCs can embed their commitment and which factors determine its success. This paper therefore aims to describe and learn from the process of embedding human rights in six subsidiaries of the multinational oil company Royal Dutch Shell (in short, Shell), operating in different parts of the world. It develops an approach based on the model of Tatiana Kostova. Using a specific tool called the Human Rights Compliance Assessment, the paper concludes that, despite differences in local context, the process requirements of embedding global standardscan be the same.