Research Summary

The Role of the Corporation in Society

by George Serafeim


This research project seeks to redefine the role of the corporation in society. We adopt a process view of the role of the corporation in society and we investigate how corporations extend their purpose beyond profit-maximization as a single objective. We pay attention especially to the behavior of the 1000 largest companies in the world. Moreover, we study the role of the board of directors and their fiduciary duties in under this expanded purpose of the corporation.

Keywords: corporate accountability; sustainability; stakeholder management; corporate culture; corporate social responsibility; environmental performance; regulation; accounting; reporting;