Business & Society
Lucy P. Marcus
Are corporate boards and managers truly accountable to shareholders? Is the sharp rise in executive pay in recent years justified? Is transparency always the best policy? How can companies – large and small – adapt to technological changes that are empowering consumers and communities as never before?
“The business of business,” Milton Friedman famously said, “is business.” But the question that Friedman was addressing – whether companies have obligations that transcend maximizing profits and shareholder value – has not gone away. On the contrary, the most effective business leaders recognize that many of their decisions inevitably affect a wide range of stakeholders – not only consumers, but also workers and the communities in which their companies operate. The question is not whether companies should behave in a socially responsible manner, but what that responsibility entails and how to meet it.
Lucy P. Marcus has been addressing such questions for her entire career, bringing to bear a unique blend of academic insight and practical experience. Among her many roles, Marcus is Professor of Leadership and Governance at IE Business School, founder and CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting, Ltd., a non-executive board director of global infrastructure company Atlantia SpA, non-executive chair of the Mobius Life Sciences Fund, and non-executive director of BioCity. As co-founder and Chair of Leadership in Conflict , she applies lessons learned from conflict and post-conflict zones to leadership in some of the world’s most challenging environments – including the boardroom.
Marcus is one of the most widely respected and influential voices in business today. Every month in The Real Business of Business , written exclusively for Project Syndicate, she brings a nuanced and holistic perspective to the real role of business in the economy.
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