Capitalism has provided unprecedented wealth and prosperity around the world, but a growing community is raising concerns about the social responsibilities of for-profit corporations. The change in public opinion has become evident in new practices among both workers and consumers: more than ever before, the public supports businesses that work for positive social change and sustainable development. These new attitudes have begun to take root in corporations themselves, with a growing community of investors, business leaders, and entrepreneurs expressing a social duty for capitalist enterprises to be a force for good. However, businesses seeking to harness these opportunities face significant institutional and normative barriers to achieving their missions.
In a new paper, B Corps co-founders Andrew Kassoy, Bart Houlahan, and Jay Coen Gilbert write about the rapidly growing community of responsible businesses, the B Corporation Movement, and how these corporations can overcome these barriers and maximize their social impacts. These certified benefit corporations are able to play a leadership role in making this cultural shift meaningful and lasting by demonstrating and creating pathways for others to others to adopt effective impact governance structures and management systems. The impact and sustained development of the B Corporation Movement will be maximized through the unique roles played by research institutions, the media, policy-makers, investors, and the general public. With enough support, this movement may soon transform shareholder capitalism into stakeholder capitalism, in which social responsibility stands at the forefront of business.
- Download the paper
- Andrew Kassoy
- Bart Houlahan
- Jay Coen Gilbert