Articles & Blogs, Category = Business ethics & CSR

Category: Business ethics & CSR

How Business Schools Can Help Restore Trust in Capitalism

“So far, most business schools (including Stanford where I teach) have responded to this trust challenge by offering more programs and courses on ethics, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and philanthropy, with the message that we need better private-sector solutions to social problems. This approach won’t cut it.”

6 Ways CEOs Can Prove They Care About More Than Shareholder Value

“For 181 of America’s leading CEOs to publicly break rank is hugely significant. But, as several commentators note, what really matters is what they do next. There is a narrow window of opportunity within which to prove that stakeholder capitalism is more than self-serving PR.

So what actions should the 181 CEOs and their boards consider taking to prove that they do mean business? We suggest that they show decisive leadership in, at minimum, one of the following six areas:

Is the Business Roundtable Statement Just Empty Rhetoric?

“I arrived back from a news-fast vacation to an assortment of stories, both weird and important. The U.S. tried to buy Greenland (what?), the Amazon is burning, billionaire David Koch died, and CEOs from 181 of the world’s largest companies — as part of the lobbying group The Business Roundtable (BRT) — declared that the purpose of a corporation is not just to serve shareholders (their official position since 1997), but ‘to create value for all our stakeholders.’ This latter story is what I’ll focus on here, but, oddly, these stories are all connected. Let me explain.”

The Business Roundtable Wants Fair Employee Payment—But What About Agency?

“Surveillance, suspicionless searches, forbidden forms of speech — these are the hallmarks of a communist dictatorship. And that’s precisely how [in her book Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It)] Anderson, knowing how surprising it would sound to most Americans, would characterize the economic system of the modern workplace today.

Companies Don’t Need Permission from the Business Roundtable to Be Better Corporate Citizens

“As an adviser to corporate managers, I have spent countless hours listening to executives discussing what shareholders want. I haven’t heard more than 20 minutes of talk about what employees, communities or suppliers need or deserve. A statement from a group of CEOs, no matter how powerful, won’t fundamentally change how they operate. But there’s one thing that will.”

In Defence of Shareholder Capitalism

“Were you to ask its critics to identify a document that encapsulated everything that contemporary capitalism gets wrong, Milton Friedman’s 1970 New York Times Magazine article ‘The Social Responsibility Of Business Is To Increase Its Profits‘ would be a popular answer. […] On Monday, Business Roundtable, a group of 200 chief executives that includes the heads of some of the largest companies in the world, released a Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. […] is the statement as noteworthy as so many seem think? I’m not so sure. […] In reality, nothing in the Business Roundtable letter contradicts Friedman’s original argument.”

CEOs Say Their Aim Is Inclusive Prosperity. Do They Mean It?

“The Business Roundtable’s statement on corporate purpose issued earlier this week is noteworthy both for its endorsement of inclusive prosperity as an ideal and for its rejection of maximizing shareholder returns as the sole corporate objective. […] the real significance of this week’s statement will depend on whether—and how—it is translated into practice. As of now, there are at least four reasons to view the statement as more of a symbolic gesture than a harbinger of change in how corporate America functions.”

Evolutionary Thinking Can Help Companies Foster More Ethical Culture

This View of Business: How Evolutionary Thinking Can Transform the Workplace offers a perspective, according to its three editors, that ‘can have profound implications at all scales, from the wellbeing of individual employees, to the performance of firms, to the creation of a sustainable global economy.’ Ethical Systems spoke to one of those editors, Mark van Vugt, to find out how evolutionary insights can be valuable to business leaders and other professionals.”

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