Blog: Business & human rights courses will influence firms to fill governance gaps & not disregard societal impacts

Author: Caroline Kaeb and David Scheffer, Principles for Responsible Management Education, in Opinio Juris, Published on: 15 June 2016

"The Corporate Joust with Morality," 6 Jun 2016

The corporate world is struggling with two competing visions of corporate ethics as the governance gap in national capitals stymies effective responses to global challenges. The first vision…has been a form of corporate activism we call “corporate counterattack.” Some major multinationals are increasingly…changing poorly conceived government policies or occupying the policy void…These collective business voices challenge state governments to protect human rights while such public authorities seek their corporate investments…None of these companies perfectly embraces principles of social responsibility…But there is no shortage of opportunities being seized by multinational corporations to significantly influence the protection of human rights…However, there are fierce winds blowing against such initiatives.  The second…vision of corporate ethics remains wedded to short-term profits regardless of societal impact…This duel between corporate responsibility and corporate deceit and culpability is no small matter…The fulcrum of risk management must be forged with sophisticated strategies that propel corporations into…policy debates…in order to promote social responsibility and thus strengthen the long-term viability of corporate operations.  We believe that task must begin in business schools…[Also refers to Apple, Angie’s List, Anthem, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Cummins, DreamWorks Animation, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Facebook, General Motors, Massey Energy, MasterCard, McDonald’s, MGM Resorts International, Nissan, Paypal, SalesForce, Sony Corporation, Toyota, Tyson Foods, Roche Diagnostics, Volkswagen, Walmart.]

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Related companies: Alpha Natural Resources Angie's List Anthem Apple Bank of America Coca-Cola Cummins eBay Eli Lilly ExxonMobil Facebook General Motors Massey Energy (part of Alpha Natural Resources) MasterCard McDonald's MGM Resorts Nissan PayPal (part of eBay) Roche Sony Toyota Tyson Volkswagen Walmart