CEOs Claim to Redefine Corporate Purpose, But Will Behavior Change?

Evrard d’Espinques [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

September 3, 2019; Christian Science Monitor and Vox

Business Roundtable is a nonprofit association based in Washington that’s made up of high-profile CEOs from some of the largest corporations in the United States. Recently, they announced a shift in their Principles of Corporate Governance, which for a long time have emphasized the idea of shareholder primacy—that corporations exist principally to serve shareholders. Now, they’ve proclaimed that corporations exist to serve the interests of all stakeholders, which encompasses a broader range of constituents including workers, communities, and the environment.

Since its founding, Business Roundtable has consistently advocated pro-corporate policies that often marginalize and ignore the interests of workers and communities.

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