Is Corp Citizenship a Dying Concept?
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The news website, Truthdig.com, recently ran a piece by William Pfaff that makes the assumption that American corporations no longer have any citizen-like obligations to the American nation. It circulated within TechSoup and also among some of our corporate donor partners. We got some pretty strong reactions on whether corporate citizenship is a dying concept.
The article called “Corporate Citizenship a Dying Concept” talks about the results of a recent single question survey of American multinational corporations conducted by the nonprofit, Remapping Debate. Their question was pretty simple “whether American multinational corporations have national obligations, and if so, what those obligations are.”
Remapping Debate contacted the representatives of more than 80 corporations. Most had no comment. Among the 15 corporate representatives who did comment, most were unwilling to say that their corporation had any obligations to the United States, let alone to define any such obligations with specificity. Representatives of some American multinationals said that their companies do not even identify themselves as being American in any sense except that they are legally incorporated and physically headquartered in one of the states of the U.S.
William Pfaff in his meditation on these findings offers plausible reasons for the death of corporate citizenship like globalization of business and production, opportunities for tax minimization as Apple famously took advantage of recently, and the shift of corporate control from owners to opportunistic professional management.
What Our Donor Partners Say
At TechSoup when we asked some of our donor partners about the state of corporate citizenship we got a very different picture.
Read the full article here