Recently, I was part of a discussion where some participants, thinking along the mainstream economist culture, were defending that the role of a company business leader is to maximize profit. Their responsibility is towards shareholders and share prices. Forget about corporate responsibility, or sustainability, or the other stakeholders!
This rational is based on the fact that each institution has its particular role and the private sector is expected to maximize its profit and return on investment and to comply with regulatory standards, shifting the responsibility of organizing policies that will ensure sustainability to governments.
In case you resonate with the idea above, I would like caution you to reflect about electoral campaigns. The USA, for example, allows for huge campaign donations coming from private corporations (which have clear agendas). Should we be so naive to imagine that once elected, government members will break free from its “sponsors’” interests and set up policies independently? Here is an invitation to watch Kevin Spacey in the role of “the super-lobbyist” Jack Abramoff.
Canada, where the campaign donations are limited & controlled, represents a better system, which allows citizens to expect more independence from its representatives.