Keren G. Raz
Lawyers, policymakers, and social entrepreneurs are engaging in a vigorous debate regarding new legal forms for social enterprise. Some argue that commercial activity in the non-profit sector
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is not new and does not require a new legal form; others argue that new legal forms, including the Low-profit Limited Liability Company (L3C) and the Benefit Corporation, can meet the needs of social enterprise; and still others argue that new legal forms are needed. This debate has suffered, however, from a fractured understanding of foundational issues related to the meaning of ―social enterprise‖ and the limitations of existing legal forms in facilitating it. This paper seeks to repair our fractured understanding of social enterprise by (1) clarifying what social enterprises are and how they differ from other organizations; (2) revealing what social enterprises require from a corporate form; (3) explaining how existing corporate structures, including the L3C and the Benefit Corporation, fall short in meeting those requirements; and (4) briefly considering the characteristics of a new legal form for social enterprise that will better facilitate the growth and success of these promising organizations.
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Nicole A. Ozer
Online privacy issues are now “above the fold,” both literally and figuratively. Consumers, companies, and policymakers increasingly think about collection and control of personal information, and the media prominently highlights these issues. But there is very little scholarship that reflects on the factors that have contributed to this recent increase in attention. And there is a dearth of scholarship that specifically analyzes how privacy advocates have started to face and overcome the challenges typical to building and sustaining any type of social movement, as well as challenges that make collective action around privacy issues particularly difficult, such as informational disparities and behavioral tendencies. This article provides a behind-the-scenes analysis of how recent factors have enabled the privacy community to create the climate necessary for a social movement to start to coalesce—a movement that can keep issues of online privacy above the fold in sustained ways and support real online privacy reform. The article assesses two recent privacy incidents, and it highlights how the privacy community has been able to mobilize—based on these incidents—to move beyond piecemeal responses and start to build a social movement and influence corporate change. Finally, the article identifies remaining obstacles that must be overcome for the movement to be successful and suggests a focus for legal and policy work to meet these challenges.
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Soonhan Kim, Alexandra Kalev, and Frank Dobbin
During the civil rights era in the 1960s, the federal government passed a series of measures to end racial and gender discrimination in the workplace. Yet the laws and regulations did not clearly define what constituted illegal discrimination and gave only weak enforcement power to federal agencies. As a result, over the following decades, corporations themselves have defined how they will comply with civil rights law. Human resources managers have created a series of programs designed to improve the status of women and minorities in the workplace, from formalized hiring and promotion procedures to diversity training to mentoring programs. Since firms have made different decisions about which programs to implement, researchers can track firms across time to study the causes and effects of the various programs.
In this article, we review many studies, some of which are our own, to find out what factors lead firms to implement anti-discrimination programs and which of these programs are actually successful at increasing workforce and management diversity. We find that regulatory pressure from the federal government has become less influential in driving firms to adopt diversity programs. Instead, advocacy from groups within the firm and industry culture have played greater roles in recent decades. We also find that some of the most popular equal opportunity programs are not actually the most effective. Formalized hiring and promotion procedures, diversity training, and grievance procedures do not lead to improvements in workforce diversity. We argue that these programs are ineffective because they treat managers as the source of the problem. The programs that do lead to results, such as recruitment initiatives and diversity taskforces, are successful because they engage managers in finding solutions. We also conclude that members of historically disadvantaged groups do not benefit from networking programs, but they do benefit from mentoring programs, which link them directly to managers who can help them advance in their careers.
Our findings have important public policy implications. Despite progress since the civil rights era, women and minorities are still underrepresented in management-level positions. Therefore, it remains as pressing as ever to understand which programs are effective in promoting workplace equality. The conclusions we present here offer guidance for managers deciding which programs to implement, courts awarding injunctive relief in discrimination suits, and agencies enforcing equal opportunity laws.
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