On November 8, Erika George, a professor of law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, will present her paper “See No Evil? Revisiting Berle’s Visions of the Social Responsibility of Business” at the launch of Seattle University School of Law’s new Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law & Society.
In the paper, George considers what it means to “conduct business consciously” in light of the legacy of Adolf Berle’s legal scholarship. “It situates his contribution to the field of corporate law in the context of current debates over the role of business in society,” she explains. “Specifically, this paper engages commentary on Adolf Berle’s contribution to certain founding principles of corporate legal theory, such as shareholder primacy, to envision how scholars might better characterize the current proliferation of voluntary codes of corporate social responsibility, corporate campaigns, and responsibility rhetoric such as ‘Don’t be Evil.’ I trace the evolution of industry consciousness with respect to the social responsibility of business in tandem with the emergence of increasing challenges to industry conduct from human rights advocates.”
Research from this paper will be integrated into George’s seminar course on multinational corporations and human rights to be offered in the spring.
In other updates, George attended the Business for Social Responsibility Conference in San Francisco in October.
In September, she presented a paper titled “Soft Law and Self-Regulation to Promote Corporate Compliance with Human Rights” at Drexel University’s Earle Mack School of Law in Philadelphia.