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Articles & Blogs on Business Ethics & CSR

Hand-picked for you from around the web + original content published just on the Moral Markets site

Put Your Metrics Where Your Mouth Is

“Rio Tinto blasted into oblivion the caves of the Juukan Gorge, a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal sacred site in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, where the company mines iron ore. Rio Tinto did this in the pursuit of further expansion and in full knowledge of the site’s existence and importance. Not to proceed, the CEO has explained, would have cost the company $135 million. He was under pressure to maximize profits from iron ore. […] A stakeholder focus has been endorsed by none other than the U.S. Business Roundtable. […] But until companies like Rio Tinto start putting their metrics where their mouths are, I’m afraid to say that we are going to see more scandals like Juukan Caves.”

Shareholder Value in a Burning World

“The best way to address climate change is not through wishful thinking but by using the tools we have – and that includes the established corporate model of maximizing shareholder value. Already, many companies are showing the way, having recognized that going green can generate immediate profits,” writes Rebecca Henderson.

The Role of Business as a Force for Good – Recording of & Report on the Live Cast Now Available

The recording of our live cast on ‘the future role of business as a force for good’ (28 September) with economist Rebecca Henderson and management scholar Colin Mayer is now available, as is a short written summary of the dialogue by Eefje de Gelder. The interview with Henderson and the interview with Mayer, part of the episode, are also available as separate videos.

Not Purpose, But Context and Communities First

Why is big business devoid of ‘purpose’? I would say it is because they tend to be disconnected from meaningful contexts; they are places of nowhere; they are system-oriented instead of relations-oriented; they are disembedded. Injecting abstract principles of purpose will not suddenly turn this around. If we want business to contribute to a better society and the greater good, I would like to suggest two lines of action.

The Licit Life of Capitalism: US Oil in Equatorial Guinea

“In The Licit Life of Capitalism: US Oil in Equatorial Guinea, economic anthropologist Hannah Appel closely examines the operations of US oil companies in Equatorial Guinea, not only revealing the sheer extent and dimensions of corporate power in remaking the world, but also illuminating the ongoing project of capitalism itself. This is a revelatory study in its theoretical contributions to the anthropology of capitalism, with a critical recentring of attention on the role of industry in shaping the politics and economics of resource extraction, writes Wen Zhou.”

Companies Must Go Beyond Random Acts of Humanitarianism

“Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly struck a note of optimism on this website earlier this year, crediting a number of companies for moving early to address the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and calling on others to “lead with purpose and humanity.” The compassionate response of the business community was indeed impressive at a critical moment of crisis. But, as time has passed, people are calling for more than just random acts of humanitarianism. They want a sustained, thoughtful, and authentic response on the part of business, one that can deliver broader, long-term impact.”

It’s a Myth that Companies Must Put Shareholders First – Coronavirus Is a Chance to Make It Stop

“There is a general sense that a new form of social contract is urgently required, even from places where you might not have expected to see such arguments, such as The Economist and the Financial Times. But what has tended to be overlooked is how such a new social contract may also require fundamental changes to the nature of companies.”


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