"In a world where the grocery store may be more powerful than the government and corporations are the governors rather than the governed, the notion of corporations being only private actors is slowly evaporating. Gone is the view that corporations can focus exclusively on maximizing shareholder wealth. Instead, the idea that corporations owe duties to the public is capturing the attention of not only citizens and legislators, but corporations themselves. This book explores the deepening connections between corporations and the public. It explores timely - and often controversial - public issues with which corporations must grapple including the corporate purpose, civil and criminal liability, taxation, human rights, the environment and corruption. Offering readers an encompassing, balanced, and systematic understanding of the most pertinent duties corporations should bear, how they work, whether they are justified, and how they should be designed in the future, this book clarifies corporations' roles vis-...-vis the public"--
"The relationship between corporations and the public is in crisis. After surveying more than 33,000 people in 28 countries, a recent report found that only 52 percent of those surveyed indicated that they trust business. The results were worse for individual countries with only 48 percent of Americans and only 43 percent of the British expressing trust in businesses. The report further found that such trust has been on the decline for a number of years. The world's largest investor has proposed a solution to the problem of declining trust. BlackRock founder and chief executive, Larry Fink, wrote to the CEOs of some of the world's largest companies, noting that society is demanding that companies serve a social purpose. According to Fink, firms must deliver both financial performance but also demonstrate how they contribute positively to society. Fink's message to corporations is not a new one. There has been a gradual recognition of the relationship between corporations and society. In some ways, this is reminiscent of the notion of corporate social responsibility, an amorphous term that lacks a precise definition. Yet while the content of and scope of corporate social responsibility has evolved over the last 70 years, today it remains primarily a voluntary endeavour. That is, it is widely thought of as a discretionary business practice of taking into account societal issues. However, rather than focusing on what is traditionally understood as corporate social responsibility, this book examines the relationship between business corporations and society, or more broadly, the public. It is based on the fundamental idea that corporations should be working to align their business activities with public interests, resulting in corporations bearing duties to the public"--
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