Classical Lessons in Business Education: What is the Duty of a Company?
By Devin Bigoness
Executive Director, Custom Programs, Cornell University
Published on October 15, 2019
In this series of blog postings, Cornell University Classics Professor Mike Fontaine and Devin Bigoness, Executive Director for Customized Executive Education programs at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, apply insights from the classics to problems faced by leaders today.
When most people think about business takeaways they look to unicorn companies (Amazon, Facebook) or modern day business role models (Richard Branson, Elon Musk), but we see great value in looking back to ancient wisdom for insights into the modern world. In this second posting, we go back to Cicero to discuss the classical and modern duty of a company. (The first post is here.)
…(I)t’s not clear how exactly companies will translate the Roundtable statement into practice. Luckily, the world has been here before. As business leaders feel their way forward, we suggest some timeless insights from the ancient Roman statesman Cicero will help–and not only help in making practical, ethical decisions, but also in aligning their governance structures to create stakeholder value and in explaining those choices publicly.
Full Blog Episode: