One of the defining marks of the modern investment market is the divergence in the relationship between the firm and its equity investors. Institutional investors have become the key owners of stock - rising from 35% in 1981 to 58% in 2002 in the US and from 42% in 1963 to 84.7% in 2004 in the UK and institutions tend to work on a long term investment strategy.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate sustainability, sustainable business, corporate conscience, corporate citizenship or responsible business) is a type of international private business self-regulation.