The Virtuous Corporation: On Corporate Social Motivation and Law
University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2016 Last revised: 15 Apr 2017
Date Written: September 26, 2016
Above and beyond their traditional financial roles, contemporary corporations are increasingly assuming a normative role, promoting social agendas. The myriad normative roles assumed by the corporation, from profit-centered corporate goodness, to environmental and human rights corporate agendas and to corporate philanthropy, comprise an emerging corporate social identity. This article asks what induces corporations to pursue social agendas and provides an initial taxonomy for corporate social motivation, showing that the incentives to normative corporate conduct are often rooted in the business purpose itself. Central policy challenges are discussed, outlining the promise and the peril of emerging corporate social identities.
Keywords: sustainability, benefit corporation, corporate goodness, corporate social responsibility, impact investments, socially responsible investments, conscious consumers, employee engagement, corporate social motivation, conscious capitalism, benefit corporation
JEL Classification: K22
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