The Problem With Giving Back

  • Publication Date:
    April 2010

A sense of entitlement, unattractive in the individual, can become dangerous when played out at the corporate level. It’s the sort of attitude that could justify destroying chunks of rainforest in Asia or South America to turn a profit, satisfy shareholders, and increase executive rewards—as long as a corporate foundation ensures that a few trees are planted in a well-forested place closer to home. The latter is portrayed as a good deed, when in fact it meets less than the corporation’s rightful obligation. At its worst, this approach completely cuts off executives and their companies from the wider environment in which they operate, so that they fail to understand or accept the consequences of their actions until it is too late—and sometimes not even then.

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  • Human Capital
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