Category: Corporate power

It’s 2018, what have we accomplished?

It’s 2018, what have we accomplished?

Economically-caused water scarcities highlight that we have a global responsibility to protect our planet and protect those affected, aiming to prevent all scarcity where we can attempt to do so. The difficulty with building a sustainable relationship with our ecosystems is that very few of us are educated in who is impacted and how by our seemingly minor decisions. Looking at the billion dollar company Coca-Cola, by drinking their dark beverage we are in fact contributing to a global scandal, the global issues surrounding water waste, to be more precise.

Corporations: good or bad?

Corporations: good or bad?

Whether Ford, Nike, Royal Dutch Shell, Google or Microsoft – they all are well-known corporations. A corporation, by definition, is a large company or a group of companies authorised to act as a single entity, which legally exists separately from its shareholder owners. However, there is more to the role of corporations such as: do corporations improve or hinder societies? Who are the winners and losers in our corporate dominated world? And in what ways is corporate power challenged? More specifically: social movements, activists and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have all brought to our attention corporate responsibility. Thus, who should be held responsible for a corporation’s actions?

It needs to be more than 15 minutes of fame: Social movements and corporations.

It needs to be more than 15 minutes of fame: Social movements and corporations.

Without social movements corporations such as Nike would not have become leaders in sustainability in the corporate world. However, the campaign against Nike was launched in the 1990s – when social media and the internet was still a baby. The pressure that was mounted against Nike resulted in great change, but this pressure must be continued against other corporations in 2017. There is the danger that the internet and social media means there is some trending of a hashtag, but six months down the line everyone has forgotten. I will explore the victories of social movements and yet highlight how the biggest victories come from constant pressure, not just a 15-minute trend on Twitter. We need a commitment from activists in order to establish commitment from corporations.

Society must be the conscience of the corporation

Society must be the conscience of the corporation

Corporations are large firms that are considered a legal entity, much like people, and can act accordingly in the global markets by buying and selling goods, entering into contracts and can sue and be sued. In the current global economy, corporations are undoubtedly the largest, most influential component. When comparing corporate sales to GDP, 51 out of 100 of the world’s largest economies would be corporations and not countries, according to UNESCO. Corporations are constructed socially, they are in constant dialogue with society, and are shaped and changed as a result. Corporations are often owned by countless shareholders and the employees are simply there to facilitate profit making for those shareholders. In this limited liability corporate environment, the corporation functions as a part of society with no conscience and little liability, allowing it to partake in any action that will increase profit.

The corporation and social movements

The corporation and social movements

Corporations have come a long way since the eighteenth century. In Britain, the government banned corporations in 1720, through the understanding that they were the domain of corruption. Yet, by 2017 the corporation is more powerful than ever. Walmart, for example, makes more per year than most nation-states (2016-$482 billion revenue). As a result, are corporations now free to do as they please within the global market? Have the customs which existed in previous centuries prevailed? Or are there ways of holding corporations accountable for their actions?