Andrea Bonime-Blanc and Mark Brzezinski, writing for the NYTimes (Business and the Way of Democracy, 12/26/09) argue “Much like transitions to democracy over the past four decades transformed governments from mostly authoritarian to mostly democratic, we are currently witnessing a transformation of global corporations from a more or less opaque shareholder-centric model to a more transparent multi-stakeholder model.”
According to Bonime-Blanc and Brzezinski, companies are embracing five trends:
- Adopting better governance with stronger shareholder rights, board rules, director accountability and pay for performance.
- Integrating corporate integrity programs into business strategy and leadership development.
- Pursuing dialogue with multiple and increasingly vocal stakeholders.
- Engaging proactively with regulators intent on trans-border cooperation and enforcement (especially regarding anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, antitrust and anti-fraud).
- Catering to two critical constituents — employees and customers — who have shown greater willingness, and ability, to “vote with their feet.