Corporations and Citizenship

Authors

  • Paddy Ireland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-049-01-1997-05_2

Keywords:

Political Economy

Abstract

Corporations are currently attracting more than the usual amount of attention from the Anglo-American left. At first glance, this might appear simply to be a product of "downsizing," stagnating wages and growing job insecurity coupled with spiraling profits, remuneration of top executives, and share prices. Markets cheer as jobs disappear. But on closer examination it is clear that there is more to it than this, for corporations are being presented by some on the left as potential vehicles for progressive social and economic reform. The principal manifestation of this phenomenon has been the emergence of the "stakeholding" conception of the company, an idea which originated in the United States but which has since risen to prominence in Britain. More recently, it has also taken the form of growing support for the notion of "good corporate citizenship." The arguments are simple. Companies, it is said, need not and should not be operated solely in the interests of their shareholders.

Published

1997-05-02

Issue

Section

Articles