The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 
Purpose-Driven Companies: Lessons Learned

The number of companies in the S&P Global 1200 with purpose statements has almost tripled in the last five years, and the number that identify as purpose driven has grown more than tenfold over the same period. What can be learned from some of these companies? Interviews with senior executives at 15 purpose-driven companies—a selection of leading firms that average over 100 years in business—shed light on the reasons why companies decided to become purpose driven, how they make purpose part of their culture, the impact of purpose on their business, and the governance implications of becoming a purpose-driven company.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Public corporations generally have a stated purpose. Indeed, Delaware law requires every public company incorporating to have the purpose of engaging broadly in lawful activities.1 Beyond that legal baseline, of course, there has been a debate for over 50 years about the purpose of a public company—whether it exists primarily to further stockholders’ economic interests or to serve a broader set of stakeholders. The choice, however, is not binary: companies need both to be profitable to survive and to serve stakeholders such as customers and employees to thrive.2

To get complimentary access to this publication click "Read more" to sign in or create an account.

AUTHOR

ThomasSinger.jpg

Thomas Singer

Principal Researcher
The Conference Board


OTHER RELATED CONTENT

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

Containing the Pandemic Public Debt

Containing the Pandemic Public Debt

May 17, 2021 | Committee for Economic Development

Optimizing Societal Impact

Optimizing Societal Impact

May 11, 2021 | Publication

Plastic Solid Waste Management

Plastic Solid Waste Management

April 21, 2021 | Publication

A US Workforce Training Plan for the Postpandemic Economy

A US Workforce Training Plan for the Postpandemic Economy

April 21, 2021 | Committee for Economic Development

WEBCASTS

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

COUNCILS

BLOGS

PRESS RELEASES & IN THE NEWS

Support Our Work

Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.

Donate