Good News: Corporations Are Embracing Stakeholder Value

July 28, 2021

The world has gone to hell, right? I mean, the state of political discourse is atrocious. We are in a pandemic, which is inherently politically tumultuous, and race relations aren’t exactly at a high point.

In the midst of all this madness, has anyone noticed that corporations are choosing to step up their level of social responsibility?  

In a poll conducted by the Harris Institute ranking CEO favorability, results showed that 32% of Americans believe CEOs have a “very good reputation.” The poll reported an increase from 25% the previous year. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans that believe CEOs have a “very bad reputation” dropped to a new low of 43%. While that statistic still leaves room for improvement, it also indicates that the public no longer equates CEOs to the Gordon Gekkos of the world. 

Things in the world get better by people doing better things, and it starts with concepts like ‘Stakeholder Value’. If you haven’t heard of stakeholder value, the term is replacing the traditional concept of ‘shareholder value’. Basically, the stakeholder value encompasses a much broader set of goals. Much more complex than “greed is good”, this new concept of stakeholder value embodies the revolutionary spirit that a company holds a level of social responsibility to their community, from customers and employees to stakeholders.

No one mandated that corporations adopt a level of social responsibility. They are doing this on their own. In fact, corporations have moved into this new understanding on their own in what I’ve recently coined “corporate benevolence”. With the rapidly-changing world, CEOs are changing course in order to do the right thing for those around them. 

I don’t know if that’s the first time that the phrase corporate benevolence has been used. I hope and expect that it won’t be the last. We are coming into a period of time in which CEOs are being forced to “do what’s right”, and more and more they are answering the call.  

I, for one, am encouraged that good people will take us to a good place.


Colin Powell is the CEO and Founder of Pinnacle Consulting & Recruitment. He leads a team of outstanding recruiters that help place Pittsburgh’s top talent in the accounting and finance fields. With over 20 years of experience, Colin’s network includes almost every major business in Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas. To learn more about how Pinnacle can help you with your interim staffing, consulting, or permanent staffing needs, visit

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