Corporations and the Public Interest

Guiding the Invisible Hand

Steven Lydenberg (Author)

Publication date: 01/21/2005

Corporations and the Public Interest

With so many recent examples of corporate greed and abuse of power, there is an obvious need for some kind of check on their behavior. But government has largely given up on regulating business, so what alternative is there?

In this important new book Steven Lydenberg outlines how the government can transform the marketplace so that market forces, rather than top-down regulations, move corporations away from such all too typical practices as plundering natural resources, dumping costs on society, and diverting assets to exorbitant executive payouts.

Lydenberg sees the proper role of corporations as creating long-term wealth--wealth which creates value in relationships with stakeholders, employees, customers and communities The heart of this book lies in a series of recommendations for creating practical tools that individuals and governments could use to encourage corporations to act in the public interest. The keys are information, analysis, and consequences.

Corporations and the Public Interest details how data on the social and environmental records of corporations could be made broadly available; how systems for analyzing, interpreting, and discussing that data can be developed and made accessible to the public; and how investors, consumers and others could use this information to reward those companies who are creating long-term wealth and punish those who are not.

These are not small tasks. Without them, however, society cannot reasonably expect that corporations will be directed to act in the public's long-term interests. Only a systematic approach like the one Lydenberg advocates can move corporations to see beyond this quarter's profits.

  • Addresses corporate misdeeds and provides antidotes to scandalous corporate behavior
  • Details how government can use the marketplace, rather than regulations, to make corporations act more responsibly
  • As a pioneer in the field of socially responsible investing, Steven Lydenberg is uniquely qualified to write on this topic

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Book Details
Overview

With so many recent examples of corporate greed and abuse of power, there is an obvious need for some kind of check on their behavior. But government has largely given up on regulating business, so what alternative is there?

In this important new book Steven Lydenberg outlines how the government can transform the marketplace so that market forces, rather than top-down regulations, move corporations away from such all too typical practices as plundering natural resources, dumping costs on society, and diverting assets to exorbitant executive payouts.

Lydenberg sees the proper role of corporations as creating long-term wealth--wealth which creates value in relationships with stakeholders, employees, customers and communities The heart of this book lies in a series of recommendations for creating practical tools that individuals and governments could use to encourage corporations to act in the public interest. The keys are information, analysis, and consequences.

Corporations and the Public Interest details how data on the social and environmental records of corporations could be made broadly available; how systems for analyzing, interpreting, and discussing that data can be developed and made accessible to the public; and how investors, consumers and others could use this information to reward those companies who are creating long-term wealth and punish those who are not.

These are not small tasks. Without them, however, society cannot reasonably expect that corporations will be directed to act in the public's long-term interests. Only a systematic approach like the one Lydenberg advocates can move corporations to see beyond this quarter's profits.

  • Addresses corporate misdeeds and provides antidotes to scandalous corporate behavior
  • Details how government can use the marketplace, rather than regulations, to make corporations act more responsibly
  • As a pioneer in the field of socially responsible investing, Steven Lydenberg is uniquely qualified to write on this topic
About the Author
Table of Contents

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