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The Ethics of Reinventing the Morally Embattled Corporation

FR. Oswald A. J. Mascarenhas, S.J. (XLRI: Xavier Institute of Management, India)

Corporate Ethics for Turbulent Markets

ISBN: 978-1-78756-188-5, eISBN: 978-1-78756-187-8

Publication date: 30 October 2018


Executive Summary

The over 125-year-old economic miracle called the Corporation is suddenly shaken in its foundations. The corporate business world is rapidly changing not only in the USA, but also across the globe. The front covers of business magazines and dailies, once dominated by names and faces of “Corporate Giants,” are now being replaced with success stories of great startups and small business entrepreneurs. The reasons for these radical changes progressively reveal the imperfections existing in the current corporation and the business boardroom paradigm. For over a century, huge corporate entities spawned by capitalism have established and entrenched themselves in their respective industry arenas and have since been ruling the world, dominating money, capital, cash, and market opportunity. Once they provided solutions to people’s employment and career needs, they have made a fortune for themselves thereby. In the course of their evolution, the businesses have transformed into corporations, seeking people’s money for doing business and, in turn, giving a share of proportionate ownership to the investor people in the form of dividends and capital gains. Such a brilliant method of raising capital has empowered the corporations to grow and expand beyond physical and political boundaries. Today, however, the corporations are run by the BOD, most of whom are representing gigantic promoter-investor institutions. That is, the main administrative role is now replaced by private equity firms and hedge funds that provide the required capital but who also exert undue pressures on CEOs to focus on short-term strategies that have massive profitability potential, thus defying the usual business management model and paradigm the CEOs were trained for in B-schools. The massive CEO exodus that has migrated from the traditional corporations to newly created startups and smaller business entrepreneurial ventures has also made the corporation an endangered species. In such a market turbulence, how do we redefine, redesign, and reinvent the morally embattled corporation? This chapter explores solutions.


Mascarenhas, S.J., F.O.A.J. (2018), "The Ethics of Reinventing the Morally Embattled Corporation", Corporate Ethics for Turbulent Markets (Corporate Ethics for Turbulent Markets), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 243-269.



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