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Ignatian Business Values and Benefit Corporations: A Countercultural and Revolutionary Theory of the Firm

Sergio Castello, Andrew Sharp
July 1, 2017
North America
Ethics & Social Justice
11 pages
Jesuit, business, Education, JJBE, CJBE, research, benefit corporations, firms
Student Price: 
$3.50 (€3.24)
Average rating: 

Two hundred years ago, 85 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty; today that figure is less than 15 percent (Mackey and Sisodia, 2013). Capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty and continues to be a powerful system for social collaboration and human development for most people, but not all. It seems to be a perfect time in history to expand the purpose of corporations to be one of true service maximization: that is, serving the interests of people, communities, and society, as well as shareholders. This requires structural changes in business law such as the incorporation of firms into so-called benefit corporations, for-profit companies that pursue social and environmental goals along with profit-maximization. Jesuit business schools have the opportunity to promote awareness of benefit corporations through education and networking aimed at students, alumni, and the wider community. Such approaches can encourage a paradigm shift in business education and practice, supporting a more balanced development of people, communities, and the environment, and moving beyond the imbalances of agency theory, fiduciary responsibility, and shareholder maximization.