Milton Friedman is often quoted as claiming that the only business of business is profit:
“There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use its resources to engage in activities designed to increase its profits.”
What is often left off is the rest of his statement:
“. . . so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”
Even Friedman thought that freewheeling free enterprise at the service of the bottom line was an impossible effort without abiding by the commonly accepted cultural rules of what is legal and ethical in practice.
At a recent CSR Investing Summit sponsored by S-Network Global Indexes, there was a strong focus on the “G” pillar of ESG—(environmental, social, and governance)—issues. Keynote Speaker Kevin Parker, CEO of Sustainable Insight Capital Management, said that his investment decision-making begins with governance. He looks for “good” governance by boards, management, and related stakeholders as the bottom line for what makes a “good” company. He and other speakers and panelists described ethics—fair practices—as key to defining “good” governance. Simply put, a good company is one that has good governance—and that’s a good investment opportunity.
For September, we’re calling for blogs on the subject of corporate governance and business ethics. Subjects could include:
• Gender diversity, on boards and in the workplace
• Pay gaps, from gender to C-suite vs. employee
• Integrating ESG values into strategy and practice
• Balancing the interests of shareholders and stakeholders
• investing for value with values
• Divestiture as an ethical tactic
We’re asking you, the CSRwire community of experts, NGOs, corporates, academics and innovators, to submit your insights and best practices. Share your innovations, successes and challenges for the wider community to learn from, explore and further develop.
CSRwire will select the best 500+ word submissions to be included on “Talkback,” our blog section, and to be further debated across all of our highly influential social media channels.
To submit, please send your article, with suggested title, as a Word document to firstname.lastname@example.org with Talkback: ‘Corporate Governance and Business Ethics in the subject line. Include a short bio, a headshot photo (jpeg), and any accompanying imagery with appropriate rights clearly available.
There is no specific deadline for articles as we are always happy to receive good content for consideration, but any received after September 21 could miss the spotlight. Articles will be linked and archived on a series page.
Watch for October’s Talkback series on health. A call for submissions will be sent out mid-September.
Follow #CSRTalk for more updates.