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Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics Commons

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Articles 1 - 7 of 7

Full-Text Articles in Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics

Introduction, Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

Introduction, Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

America faces a reckoning, a crucible of what Reinhold Niebuhr observed more than eighty years ago. Our democratic principles and traditions are imperiled by the power of financial oligarchs and unfettered money flows, which have contributed to massive inequality that, in turn, has given rise to political unrest and a sense of cultural unmooring.

The articles presented here are both descriptive and normative, setting forth a complex social problem with seemingly bottomless proportions and then offering a design or set of remedial actions to alleviate them. Drawing on my professional experience going back to the mid-1970s, I wrote these pieces ...


Improving Impact: Collaborative Multi-Party, Multi-Sector Engagement (2011), Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

Improving Impact: Collaborative Multi-Party, Multi-Sector Engagement (2011), Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

Most people do not realize the full implications of the fact that we live now in an era marked more by networks than hierarchies. Nowadays, power is distributed across boundaries and borders, rather than concentrated in one place—be it a physical setting, demographic group, industrial sector, or professional discipline. Thanks to systems thinking and the ubiquity of digital tools and platforms, there are many more opportunities for lawmakers, policymakers, and economic institutions to collaborate with concerned citizens on critical public issues, thereby breaking the grip of lobbyists, third-party intermediaries, and the power elite. On top of that are recent ...


A Framework For Good Ownership And Good Governance (1999), Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

A Framework For Good Ownership And Good Governance (1999), Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article encapsulates a more extensive analysis that was commissioned by The Boston Foundation’s board of trustees in December 1998 to investigate its investment practices and identify ways in which its asset management decisions might be brought into fuller alignment with its charitable purpose—without conceding earnings or undermining its philanthropic fiduciary responsibility. The undertaking was spurred by the leadership of Robert A. Glassman, co-founder and co-chair of Wainwright Bank and a trustee of The Boston Foundation (TBF) since 1985, who took the reins from David Rockefeller Jr. in 1995 as chair of TBF’s investment committee. The research ...


Trusting Harvard: The Cost Of Unprincipled Investing (2014), Marcy Murninghan, Robert A.G. Monks Mar 2018

Trusting Harvard: The Cost Of Unprincipled Investing (2014), Marcy Murninghan, Robert A.G. Monks

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article provides a framework for answering two questions: How can Harvard fulfill its fiduciary obligation as an investor in ways that advance its beliefs, values, and commitments? How can Harvard take the lead in creating a curriculum for students, professionals, and the general public about the civic moral obligations of wealth? While aimed at Harvard, the issues covered are relevant to other universities and tax-exempt institutional investors, because they have a special duty to advance the public interest. Commissioned and co-authored by the noted corporate governance and responsible ownership guru Robert A. G. Monks, it calls on Harvard to ...


Money And Morality: Pathways Toward A Civic Stewardship Ethic (2012), Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

Money And Morality: Pathways Toward A Civic Stewardship Ethic (2012), Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

Based on a plenary presentation made at the Ninth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance, held at Harvard Law School in 2010, less than two years after the 2008 financial crisis, this article argues for the restoration of ethical values and civic commitments in capitalism and economic enterprise, drawing on traditional religious, theological, and philosophical principles regarding the civic moral obligations associated with building and managing wealth. The article is divided into three main parts. It begins with an overview of reform measures emanating from the financial debacle, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and an ...


Corporate Civic Responsibility And The Ownership Agenda: Investing In The Public Good (1994), Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

Corporate Civic Responsibility And The Ownership Agenda: Investing In The Public Good (1994), Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article seeks to provoke broader public discussion about ways in which human and ecologic dignity, prosperity, and the civic ideal can be advanced through a revitalized and principled ownership agenda that features greater levels of corporate accountability and civic virtue. It draws from portions of what then was called an “Occasional Paper,” part of a series emanating from the early days of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. Written in 1994, it introduces a new paradigm for corporate governance called the “corporate covenant,” which casts ownership within the framework of citizenship ...


Equity Culture And Decent Work: The Case Of Amazon (2017), Marcy Murninghan Mar 2018

Equity Culture And Decent Work: The Case Of Amazon (2017), Marcy Murninghan

New England Journal of Public Policy

Every year, publicly traded companies hold annual meetings at which management presents a summary of the year’s accomplishments and shareholders vote on a slate of ballot issues, referred to as “proxy resolutions,” that are placed there by either management or shareholders. As in public life, in theory this form of corporate governance relies on a division of authority and checks and balances among shareholders, the board of directors, and company management. In theory, shareholders function much like registered voters, boards serve as their elected representatives, and management operates much like the executive branch to carry out the mandates accorded ...