In this issue

Red Corporation, Blue Corporation? Corporate political speech becomes a board issue

After the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, many companies announced that they would halt political contributions, either permanently or for a defined period. Some discontinuations involved a particular political party, some individual legislators and some were complete stops on all contributions.

U.S. Politics and Corporate Speech: A Two-Edged Sword

In its 2010 Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court gave corporations relatively unlimited free-speech rights to spend corporate funds for political causes and candidates. A part of the majority’s reasoning was that if corporate media entities — for example, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and CNN — have undeniable First Amendment rights to endorse causes and candidates, why should non-media corporate entities be denied the same rights?

Two Views: Government-Corporate Partnerships: Yea or Nay? "The Social Side of Teaming Up"

If boards of directors and senior managers have not already examined their relationships with government entities from a “big picture” perspective, now is the time to get serious about the endeavor, and I don’t just mean laws and regulations that might fall under a compliance rubric. In an environment where societal and even judicial expectations of corporations have gone beyond maximizing profits, corporations need to reexamine their relationships with government entities to move closer to a form of partnership with government, rather than seeing government as an adversary.

Two Views: Government-Corporate Partnerships: Yea or Nay? "The World's Stage"

My three careers have been in business, government and academia. I have found each to be populated with many extremely talented and dedicated individuals. But these key elements of America’s economy seem to have evolved a relationship that resides somewhere between disconnected and adversarial. As a result, the nation finds itself with a competitive machine wherein the whole is less than the sum of its parts. This matters.

Taking a Stand: How and When Should Companies Speak Out on Political Issues?

When the nation was riveted by protests over police killings, should companies have added their voices to the discussion? Should every company have an official and public position on sustainability? Questions like these are arising with increasing frequency, as companies find themselves under pressure — from employees, customers and the community at large — to speak out on issues that some might consider political. To answer them, companies need to evaluate whether to respond to an issue, what form the response should take, and who should deliver it.

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