Business and Society Partnership

The Business and Society Partnership (BSP) was launched by a group of academics within the Department of Law in November 2011, as part of an initiative to provide stakeholders located mainly in the South West of England with a platform for deliberation and exchange.

Through events set up by the BSP and subsequent reports matters affecting, and of concern to, stakeholders in the area of what is commonly termed 'Corporate Social Responsibility' were not only disseminated but also brought to the attention of policy makers. Participating stakeholders had the opportunity to learn from each other and thus make known good practice, suggest changes to policy and matters of implementation.

Roundtable series

On 21 November 2011, an initial meeting (based on a preparatory paper) enabled participants to set the agenda for the roundtable series at UWE Bristol.

A roundtable on 'Leadership and Values' was held at the ECC on 8 June 2012. With guest speaker Duncan Hames (MP for Chippenham, Liberal Democrats) attending, the participants discussed the concept of CSR within the context of 'Leadership and Values'. 

It became clear that increasing importance is attached not only to the areas within which good, socially responsible governance is to take place but attention is also paid to those who are at the front of proposing and/or implementing initiatives that promote socially responsible behaviour.

Visionary leadership, however, requires a credible basis from which to start; thus, the values on which leadership builds need to be clear, accessible and transparent.

In the final analysis it was agreed that neither leadership nor values are easy to define or, indeed, measure. While leadership and values do not exist in isolation and are not mutually exclusive concepts, there is room for compromise where the achievement of some rather than all goals is seen as acceptable.

The discussions are reported in the Working Paper Series No. 3 of the Centre for Applied Legal Research.

Other activities

In addition, the BSP was active in a variety of ways, including:

  • Updates on members' activities and invitations channelled through the BSP.
  • Presence on LinkedIn and Facebook as 'Business and Society'.
  • Symposium on the Bribery Act 2010 and Corporate Hospitality held at UWE Bristol on 21 February 2012.
  • A Networking Event in partnership with Burges Salmon, held on 14 September 2012. Cllr Paul Crossley (LibDem), Leader of the Bath and East North Somerset Council, presented the Council’s views on ‘Fracking: Alternative and Sustainable Energy Extraction in the South West’.

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