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Frank Jan de Graaf

Corporate social performance and the governance structure. Stakeholder influence and the deregulation of Dutch finance

The doctoral research analyses - from an institutional perspective - how the corporate governance system influences an organisation in taking responsibility. It presents a theory about the relationship between corporate governance and corporate responsibility based on the literature and three case studies. The results of the study should lead to recommendations on how social acceptance– the central theme of corporate responsibility – can be ensured.

The thesis is part of a research programme funded by the Corporate Responsibility Foundation at the University of Amsterdam. The programme has started in 2001 with the goal to develop a management tool for companies to assess policies related to corporate responsibility (Herkströter, Heene 2000). The tool has to provide the management insight into what stakeholders can expect of a company and how different stakeholder interests conflict with each other. This tool is necessary to meet the growing demand for greater accountability of companies and their managers, and, in response to this trend, the increasing requirements for policies concerning corporate responsibility.

Within this programme, the thesis has to be the starting point for further research on the processes in which a company takes responsibility. This has to result in system- or management indicators, which make it possible to evaluate corporate responsibility. These indicators are to be used in developing a rating instrument.

Date of thesis defense: 7 july 2005

Promotor: C.A.J. Kerkströter