CEOs, the new political activists?

Prof Laura Edinger-Schons discussed the political role of companies and their CEOS with the doctoral students of the doctoral program.

At a jour fixe of the doctoral program, Prof Edinger-Schons from the chair of CSR at the University Mannheim gave fascinating insides into her latest research about companies and their CEOs as political activists. Companies increasingly enter the stage of political actors. They provide common goods and thus take on tasks that traditionally seem to belong to the area of responsibility of a state. In the media, CEO comment on the political debate, even on topics unrelated to their core business. In addition, companies can support non-governmental organisations through donations and thus can deliberately strengthen certain topics and groups of persons. All this raises questions for the companies: To which organisations should they donate? How do they make these decisions? Does also seemingly “unattractive” NGOS which advocate for stigmatised persons receive donations?

In addition to this exchange on her research, Prof Edinger-Schons inspired the doctoral students with her personal story about her avenue of research and the challenges on the path to her professorship. Prof Edinger-Schons has raised the funds for her chair herself by means of a crowd funding campaign.

The discussion continued even after the end of the jour fixe, and a further exchange among Prof. Edinger-Schons, her team, and the doctoral program has been agreed upon.