Corporate Responsibility for Wealth Creation and Human Rights
by Georges Enderle
Cambridge University Press, January 2021
Georges Enderle proposes a radically new understanding of corporate responsibility in the global and pluralistic context. This book introduces a framework that integrates the ideas of wealth creation and human rights, which is illustrated by multiple corporate examples, and provides a sharp critique of the maximizing shareholder value ideology. By defining the purpose of business enterprises as creating wealth in a comprehensive sense, encompassing natural, economic, human and social capital while respecting human rights, Enderle draws attention to the fundamental importance of public wealth, without which private wealth cannot be created. This framework further identifies the limitations of the market institution and self-regarding motivations by demonstrating that the creation of public wealth requires collective actors and other-regarding motivations. In line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, this book provides clear ethical guidance for businesses around the world and a strong voice against human right violations, especially in repressive and authoritarian regimes and populist and discriminatory environments.
“Enderle builds important bridges for a comprehensive understanding of corporate responsibility for companies operating in China and worldwide, illustrated with numerous case studies. Although written before the COVID-19 pandemic, the book proposes a comprehensive framework for wealth creation and human rights that is even more relevant after the crisis.”
– Xiaohe Lu, Professor, Institute of Philosophy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences