managing sociopolitical issues.

managing sociopolitical issues. - Managing sociopolitical...

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Managing sociopolitical issues Article Type: Editorial From: Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, Volume 18, Issue 4 In a turbulent business world, executives are pressed to be imaginative and to rethink their corporate priorities. Indeed, there have been profound changes in the way executives view their business boundaries and arenas of conduct. While demographic and economic factors still top the list of executives’ concerns, emerging sociopolitical issues (e.g. climate change, diseases, poverty, global unrest and turmoil, and foreign policy) are increasingly becoming an integral part of normal business deliberations and in fact now commonly have a place in formal corporate agendas. The McKinsey Quarterly (2008) reported that, according to a recent global survey, 80 percent of global executives regard climate change as strategically important. Though the survey results show that only a few companies act on these opinions, the fact the corporations are rethinking their social roles and paying close attention to societal expectations represents a turning point in the history of modern corporations. The above development should be understood in a broader context. When executives show interest in and commitment to sociopolitical issues, it manifests a profound change in the role of corporations in society. Specifically, these issues become strategic and are linked to business evolution and growth. Though some executives, over the years, have directly or indirectly engaged in addressing sociopolitical subjects, these involvements have been limited and or pursued purely to further and serve the narrow business interests of their respective companies. This attitude, however, appears to be shifting as more and more executives assume wider roles in addressing social and political issues at both national and global levels. For many years, executives in Europe and Asia have felt relatively more comfortable about tackling sociopolitical issues than their counterparts in the USA. The emphasis on short-term profit results, fears of possible fallouts, and a narrow understanding of stakeholders’ values have significantly curtailed US executives’ direct participation in shaping public debate in the social and political arena. The globalization of business, political blunders in Washington, the rising influence of NGOs along with the growing understanding of societal needs, have motivated
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managing sociopolitical issues. - Managing sociopolitical...

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