Written by Ryan Macpherson, Claudine Emeott, Ken Gustavsen, and Moses Choi
In August 2019, 181 corporate executives of the Business Roundtable made headlines by redefining a corporation’s purpose, extending it beyond maximizing shareholder value to include a “fundamental commitment to all stakeholders” inclusive of employees, customers, and communities. Both criticism and applause followed the announcement. Then 2020 brought a global pandemic, rampant wildfires, a collective reckoning with systemic racism, and a corresponding economic crisis—events that disrupted business and society in unprecedented and interconnected ways. What it means for companies to commit to all stakeholders is being put to the test like never before.
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