This book examines the changing reciprocal relationships between corporations and their various social obligations over the very long term - from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. Chapters from emerging and established business historians assess the full range of social obligations that corporations held historically. By adopting an innovative methodological approach that is long-term and comparative, this book offers a challenge to the literature on corporate history and will be of interest to researchers and academics in the field of finance and business history.
William A. Pettigrew is a Reader in History at the University of Kent, UK, the founding Director of the Centre for the Political Economies of International Commerce (PEIC) and the Lead Investigator of a Leverhulme Trust grant project on England's seventeenth-century overseas trading companies. He is the author of Freedom's Debt: The Royal African Company and the Politics of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1672-1752 (2013).
David Chan Smith is an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. He is currently researching the history of corporate social responsibility and beginning his next project on Matthew Boulton, innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and the emergence of global carbon networks. His first book, Sir Edward Coke and the Reformation of the Laws (2014), is a study of the early modern common law.
Chapter 1: Introduction: The History of Corporate Social Responsibility: Towards a Comparative and Institutional Contribution.- Chapter 2: Leadership and the Social Agendas of the Early Modern English Trading Corporations.- Chapter 3: Socially Responsible and Responsive Business in Seventeenth-Century England.- Chapter 4: Profit and Surety: The British Chartered Trading Companies and the State Before the Nineteenth Century.- Chapter 5: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Rise of the Non-profit Sector in America.- Chapter 6: Local Concerns, Global Impact: The Social Structures and Influence of early Anglo-American Firms at Home and Abroad, 1815-1840.- Chapter 7: The Distant Shareholder: Attenuated Investment and the Diffusion of Social Concerns.- Chapter 8: Canadian Regional and National Business Elites in 1912: Local and Social Connections.- Chapter 9: Trust, Reputation, and Regulation: Securities Markets in Europe, the US, and Japan before 1914.- Chapter 10: Adolf Berle's "Good Neighbour" Critique of US Corporate Interests in the Caribbean Basin.- Chapter 11: Social(ist) Responsibility and Communist Management in Postwar Central Europe.- Chapter 12: Afterword: The History (and Future History) of Socially Responsible Business.