Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Revisiting Hurst's legitimacy of corporations: utility-responsibility dichotomy in company law
Dr Adaeze Okoye
(School of Law, Canterbury Christ Church University; IALS Visiting Fellow)
A revisit of Hurst's essay in 1970* could suggest probably reasons for why responsibility continues to play second fiddle to 'utility' as a legitimizer. This could explain why corporate social responsibility continues this tradition, with most components outside of company law. Yet the capacity of company law to embrace corporate social responsibility within the corporate objective may hold the key to effective accountability as part of corporate legitimacy.
*J W Hurst, The legitimacy of the Business Corporation in the Law of the US 1780-1970 (University of Virginia Press, 1970)
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