In her article Big Business Matters (SSI Review, Fall 2010) Judith Samuelson argues global businesses are the most capable agents to solve our problems but they need a makeover:
First, we must revisit our narrative about the purpose of the business corporation. “Maximizing profits” may be an accepted mantra on Wall Street, but it is not enshrined in either law or practice. Realigning business purpose with the public good is a critical first step in integrating social impact or environmental sustainability as business strategy.
Second, we need to unleash social intrapreneurs—change agents already working deep within business—and encourage the next generation of managers to find business opportunity in our most daunting challenges.
Third, let’s move values from the ethics classroom to the core of business education, and let’s enable students to raise their voices in times of moral conflict. The end game: Future managers will have the will and the skill to treat ethical issues as strategically and effectively as they do business issues.