Project Syndicate

The Real Business of Business Monthly Commentaries on Ethics, Leadership, and Governance, by Lucy Marcus

Are corporate boards and managers truly accountable to shareholders? Is the sharp rise in executive pay in recent years justified? Is transparency always the best policy? How can companies – large and small – adapt to technological changes that are empowering consumers and communities as never before?

“The business of business,” Milton Friedman famously said, “is business.” But the question that Friedman was addressing – whether companies have obligations that transcend maximizing profits and shareholder value – has not gone away. On the contrary, the most effective business leaders recognize that many of their decisions inevitably affect a wide range of stakeholders – not only consumers, but also workers and the communities in which their companies operate. The question is not whether companies should behave in a socially responsible manner, but what that responsibility entails and how to meet it.

This monthly column will focus on the real business of business and will be monthly commentaries on ethics, leadership, and governance and the key questions that companies and citizens alike must address. The column will be available in 12 languages, including Spanish, and will be syndicated in papers around the world

About Project Syndicate

Since 1994, Project Syndicate has provided readers with thought-provoking commentaries by those who are shaping the world’s economics, politics, science, and culture. Our mission is to render complicated ideas in a language that educated readers everywhere can use to make informed choices, while providing a platform for the world’s foremost statesmen, policymakers, intellectuals, and activists to reach a global audience without public relations and political hype.

Project Syndicate distributes its content in up to 12 languages to more than 500 publications in 154 countries, and our commentaries reach 300 million readers. Our unique non-profit content-distribution model enables us to reach media in the developing world that commercial syndication services ignore or neglect. We offer outlets throughout developing Africa, Asia, and Latin America free or subsidized rights to our commentaries, ensuring equal access to ideas and debates that help people everywhere understand and respond to the forces – and risks – shaping their lives.

Position

Columnist

Project Syndicate