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How Multinationals Navigate To A Stakeholder Economy: B Movement Builders Share Progress And Challenges – Part One

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Sustainable development goals. SDGs. getty The idea of “stakeholder capitalism” has come to the fore in recent years. For instance, in late 2019, the Business Roundtable (BRT) of elite American CEOs adopted a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, declaring that companies should not just deliver value to shareholders but also to stakeholders, such as employees, communities and the environment. And the 2020 theme of the World Economic Forum in Davos was “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”

But making the transition from shareholder capitalism to a model that values all stakeholders is a significant management challenge. As a result it is not that surprising that recent research suggests that BRT signatories are actually less effective in addressing the key issues of the COVID pandemic than non-BRT companies. These non-BRT companies, contrary to popular sentiment, are also simultaneously returning more money to shareholders.

As I have written about before , the stakeholder accountability and governance tools and processes created by global nonprofit B Lab to assess companies for B Corp certification can help all companies — not just B Corps — make this transition to a more socially responsible management system. In addition to the 4,000-plus B Corps […]

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