Although written in 2002 in the midst of Enron and WorldCom scandals, the article is eerily relevant to today’s dynamics. This article calls into question the motives and practices of major corporations and their executives. Throughout the article, Handy stresses the need to re-evaluate why businesses actually exist. If you think the answer is just profits, you might want to rethink!
Make sure you are in a peaceful environment when you read the article, it will take you about 10 minutes to go through it. Handy discusses several topics related to the role of executives, shareholder expectation, ownership of businesses, wellbeing of employees and the impact of business activities on the society and the environment. It is best to read this article slowly and cautiously so that you don’t miss the important bits.
Unless companies change their culture, capitalism will continue to be viewed as the rich man’s self-serving game. Investors, talent and consumers may desert it and governments may impose more limiting regulations.