Saturday, October 24, 2020
This week, I'm plugging a new piece I posted to SSRN, forthcoming as a chapter in Research Handbook on Corporate Purpose and Personhood (Elizabeth Pollman & Robert Thompson eds., Elgar). It actually includes a lot of the arguments/observations I've previously made in this space, but if you want them compiled in a handy chapter, here's the abstract:
If corporate purpose debates concern whether corporations should operate solely to benefit their shareholders, or if instead they should operate to benefit the community as a whole, “ESG” – or, investing based on “environmental, social, and governance” factors – occupies a middle ground. Its adherents welcome shareholder power within the corporate form and accept that shareholders are the central objects of corporate concern, but argue that shareholders themselves should encourage corporations to operate with due regard for the protection of nonshareholder constituencies. This Chapter, prepared for the Research Handbook on Corporate Purpose and Personhood, will explore the theory behind ESG, as well as the barriers to its implementation.