Written by Brian Moynihan and Klaus Schwab
A debate is underway about the role of companies in society. The discussion on what role capitalism must play—and how—to address society’s most pressing issues is of great importance, as the world seeks to build the post-COVID future. But until very recently, a crucial element in the debate was missing: how companies can be held accountable for their broader ESG contributions.
The debate has tended to pit profits versus purpose, and shareholders versus stakeholders. But this is a false dichotomy. As IBM CEO Arvind Krishna put it in a recent conversation with Fortune: Purpose and profit go together, reinforcing each other.” That is the perspective of “stakeholder capitalism,” which has been explored extensively in CEO Daily and elsewhere in Fortune at various occasions in the past few years.
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