The transformative potential of the corporate social purpose
PhD student: Mrs N. van der Horst
Promotor: Mrs Dr M. Bartl
Duration: 1/1/2021 - 31/12/2024
The social norm of shareholder primacy has harmed global society, both socially as well as environmentally. Academics have therefore argued that in order to reach a non-extractive economy, we should get rid of the shareholder primacy social norm. The social organizational purpose represents a new vision on the role of organizations in society, namely that organizations exist to contribute something positive to society. This PhD research studies the transformative potential of the social purpose on norms and convictions about the role of organizations in society. It does so by empirically studying two organizations that have implemented or that are implementing a social purpose. The research method that is applied is organizational ethnography. In this empirical research, the PhD research studies how the implementation of the social purpose in the legal, financial and cultural infrastructure of the organization supports or obstructs its transformative potential. The transformative potential is studied on both the individual level (intrinsic motivation of individual employees) as well as on the organizational level (organizational culture). Based on the insights of the empirical study, the PhD thesis will draw conclusions for how private law can support the transformative potential of the social purpose.