Corporate Social Responsibility and Transformative Power of Corporate Law

Att. Dr. Deniz Okuyucu*

While corporate social responsibility has only recently entered the radar of Turkish business world, it has been both a topic of discussion and an aspiration since the birth of corporate law. This study aims to go one step further than mentioning the concept of corporate social responsibility -a concept yet to be universally defined- in only non-binding legal instruments, which has been the approach for years. It argues that this step will be possible by making the concept a binding legal rule within the framework of company law.

Under the current Turkish legislation, particularly the Turkish Commercial Code, it appears that it is not possible for companies to continue their existence in a way that takes into account the interests of stakeholders other than the shareholders such as workers, creditors, environment, and society. Given this perspective, it is claimed that corporate social responsibility can be embedded into the scope of company law by, inter alia, moderating the company’s aim of making profit, strengthening the positions of other stakeholders within the company, restructuring of the Board of Directors and expanding the scope of Board of Directors’ duty of care.

For the full text of this blog post in Turkish, please click here.

Kew words: Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Law, Stakeholders, Shareholders, Board of Directors

* Partner, Deniz Okuyucu Law Firm