Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Framing Effect in the Corporate Purpose Debate

Happy summer! Now that the summer solstice has passed, if you’ve ever wondered about language choice and the effects it might have on corporate behavior and objective, I invite you to check out an essay I recently made public. Spoiler Alert: I am a Seuss fan - the essay was written in conjunction with a symposium on Dr. Seuss™ and Civil Society so it requires some willing suspension of disbelief… although not entirely because I do believe that the core proposition made is sound. Here’s a short abstract:

While sustainability proponents have been building their case for why corporations should care about more than profits, this essay argues that the case for sustainability or "CSR" cannot be successfully made without engaging with the entrenched norm of shareholder primacy. This essay makes the modest yet underexplored claim that any attempt to amend, rewrite, interrogate, or, at the extreme, debunk the shareholder primacy/private purpose view of the corporation must successfully counter the “framing effect” and “framing bias” that shareholder primacy enjoys.

The full essay is available here. And if you're in the mood for something even more off the beaten path, there is a poem in the addendum. I invite you to add your own lines/verses...


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