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Whitman says big companies can "afford to do a little good" in Conversation op-ed

February 15, 2018

Earlier this week, Marina v.N. Whitman’s work was published by The Conversation, an independent not-for-profit media company.

Her op-ed, “Corporate America needs to get back to thinking about more than just profits,” discussed the importance of big companies contributing more to society in conjunction with their focus on profits. She argues that companies can afford to “do a little good.”

The interview was also highlighted on Michigan Radio's Stateside program. 

“I convinced my bosses that doing a little good, even amid plant closings and layoffs, could make a real difference for hard-hit communities, and so we donated to local charities to mitigate some of the pain,” she writes about her work at General Motors.

Whitman goes on to say that even stakeholders want companies to get more involved in social good. “Sixty percent of the companies that responded to a 2016 survey of 92 major corporations reported rising stakeholder pressure to get engaged on issues, from human rights to climate change,” she writes.

Whitman, an emeritus faculty member, taught Global Corporate Social Responsibility at the Ford School and served as both Vice President and Chief Economist at the General Motors Corporation. Whitman is the author of New World, New Rules: The Changing Role of the American Corporation (Harvard Business School Press). 

--Olivia Lewis (MPP '18)