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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Purpose-Driven Companies: Lessons Learned

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

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AUTHOR

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Thomas Singer

Principal Researcher
The Conference Board

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