Democratizing the Fourth Sector: B Corps and Beneficiary Participation
In 2019, Business Roundtable, an influential organization comprised of executives from major American companies, announced that a corporation’s purpose is not only to pursue profit but also to advance the interests of a broad set of stakeholders. Workers, suppliers, and the environment were among the stakeholders named in the statement. Although the statement has no legal effect and does not call for legal or structural reform, it raised important questions about the role of corporate activity in American life. Should corporate activity further the interests of diverse stakeholder groups or simply those of capital? Are company executives in a position to deliver value to all stakeholders? Does corporate law determine this ability?