It’s a seminal point in the development of all children: the moment they understand the difference between right and wrong. Yet, as Joel Bakan claimed in his critically acclaimed 2004 film The Corporation, the modern company has all the trappings of a psychopath: a person in law, focused entirely on personal gain, with limited liability reducing the penalties for overreaching.
Regulatory attempts have been made to curb these tendencies, but other levers are emerging from the fast-maturing area of technology-led social business that could herald a softer sort of pressure, but one that might produce more effective results. The big question for corporate bosses is this : will they take a lead in social business, or stick their heads in the sand ? For those prepared to move forward, marketing and communications chiefs will be among their most important advisers.