The Evolving Social Responsibilities of Internet Corporate Actors: Pointers Past and Present
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Internet corporate behaviour is slowly showing movement from mere legal compliance towards responsible behaviour. Long-evolved off-line Best Practice for corporate voluntarism is, however, largely absent from the Internet. As a result, corporate efforts to act on societal issues beyond the shareholder dividend suffer avoidable shortcomings in design, delivery and recognition. Internet corporate actors can secure greater acknowledgement for their efforts and enjoy greater success, if they involve other interested parties in these efforts from inception, and commit to continuous improvement of their initiatives on the basis of transparent reporting and structured feedback.
KeywordsCorporate responsibility Internet governance Accountability Stakeholder governance Joint learning Collective intelligence Complex systems Future internet
The author is an official in the service of the European Commission, currently Director General for Information Society and Media. The views expressed are purely personal. This article reflects an intellectual debt to many mentors, notably Simon Zadek, who is cited, but also to many others whose names do not appear, notably Andrea Glorioso. Any errors of fact and judgement are the author's alone.
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