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Article

The Sustainable Corporate Objective: Rethinking Directors’ Duties

School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, 9 Dublin, Ireland
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6734; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236734
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 5 November 2019 / Accepted: 11 November 2019 / Published: 27 November 2019
Traditionally, the purpose of directors’ duties within company law is to ensure that the powers of management given to directors are properly exercised. For instance, instead of using their managerial powers to further their personal interests or for some collateral purpose, directors are under a duty to take decisions which they think will further the company’s interests. In most EU jurisdictions, determining what acting in the company’s interest means is not mandated by law, but is rather left to the subjective business judgement of directors. The discretion allowed by this duty has allowed for, influenced in part by a law and economics approach to company law, the shareholder value norm to become entrenched. This paper argues that the law of directors’ duties should evolve to provide specific guidelines to directors on the question of the corporate objective. It supports existing arguments for a reform of EU company law to include a new duty requiring directors to ensure sustainable value creation. The paper argues that any such duty should be framed objectively and be enforced through public mechanisms rather than a reliance on private actors. View Full-Text
Keywords: corporate sustainability; planetary boundaries; shareholder primacy; directors’ duties corporate sustainability; planetary boundaries; shareholder primacy; directors’ duties
MDPI and ACS Style

Quinn, J. The Sustainable Corporate Objective: Rethinking Directors’ Duties. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6734. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236734

AMA Style

Quinn J. The Sustainable Corporate Objective: Rethinking Directors’ Duties. Sustainability. 2019; 11(23):6734. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236734

Chicago/Turabian Style

Quinn, John. 2019. "The Sustainable Corporate Objective: Rethinking Directors’ Duties" Sustainability 11, no. 23: 6734. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236734

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