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Why More Companies Are Speaking Out on Social Issues(1)

July 13, 2015

Boeing and IBM were among the large employers in South Carolina calling for the Confederate Flag to end its reign over the state capital last week. They are among a larger group of companies increasingly speaking out on issues such as anti-gay discrimination, immigration and race relations. Columnist Gael O’Brien offers thoughts on what’s driving the trend – social conscience or self-interest – and whether it matters.

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Leadership: Bold New Programs Need Strong Foundations

Columnist Gael O’Brien examines two ambitious initiatives in leadership and corporate social responsibility – at Starbucks and Zappos – and wonders whether they are taking on too much or simply doing what’s necessary to develop bridges to a sustainable future. “We need more leaders to have big, out-of-the box ideas that have the potential to transform business and society,” she writes. At the same time, “change, even for the noblest purposes, needs to take hold internally and locally and build slowly owned by many.”

Report: ‘Unethical Behavior’ Continues to Plague Financial Services Industry

A new survey of the U.S. and U.K. financial services industry finds that the upswing in financial markets in the wake of the global recession hasn’t done much to improve public perceptions of leading financial institutions – mainly because the underlying behavior of those working in the industry has worsened over the years.

Examining Success for Net Neutrality: A Lesson in Digital Power

The failure of the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger in April 2015 had many causes, but certainly the substantial amount of public attention to the issue of net neutrality over the past two years contributed to it. How exactly net neutrality rose from a somewhat obscure issue to one of mass attention stands as a compelling case study in new forms of digital communications — and the degree to which online actors may play a role in shaping public policy.


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