Harvard researchers say signatories have made few changes in company documents that indicate a corporate purpose favouring stakeholders.
Business Roundtable chair and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon at the Fortune Global Forum. Image by Fortune Live Media, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Since the Business Roundtable, a club for chief executives at some of the most high-profile companies in the US, announced in 2019 that it was in favour of prioritising stakeholders over shareholders, there has been much talk about the nature of big business changing.
But a close of examination by academics of the companies involved reveals not much has changed. Indeed, the statement, the researchers say, seems to have been “for show” and served to head off government intervention.
After reviewing documents from more than 130 companies signed up to the Business Roundtable’s (BRT) Statement of the Purpose of the Corporation, Lucian
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