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British Academy Lectures, 2015-16$
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Janet Carsten and Simon Frith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266045

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266045.001.0001

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Reinventing the corporation

Reinventing the corporation

Sir John Cass’s Foundation Lecture read 3 March 2015

Chapter:
(p.53) Reinventing the corporation
Source:
British Academy Lectures, 2015-16
Author(s):

Colin Mayer

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266045.003.0003

The corporation has undergone a fundamental change over the last few decades from an organisation with predominantly tangible assets, such as buildings and equipment, to the ‘mindful corporation’ with intangible assets, such as brands, patents and reputations. While the corporation has made immense contributions to economic prosperity and development, it is also associated with growing levels of income and social inequality. To correct its deficiencies and restore trust, it needs to be reinvented for the 21st century. It should be reconceived as a means of commitment to the promotion of the interests of its customers and communities as well as enhancing the wealth of its investors. This requires a careful reconsideration of the purpose of the corporation and its associated forms of ownership and governance. The humanities have a vital role to play in achieving this.

Keywords:   the corporation, intangible, commitment, trust, purpose, ownership, governance

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