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JUST Report

A Roadmap for Stakeholder Capitalism: 2019 Survey Results

Amidst uncertainty about what comes next after the Business Roundtable announced its new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, JUST Capital released its “Roadmap for Stakeholder Capitalism” and the results of our 2019 Survey, which details the Issues and stakeholders the American public wants U.S. companies to prioritize most to restore declining trust and create an economy that works for more Americans.

The clear question is, what’s next? How do we turn words into deeds? What can companies actually do to measure and improve their performance on these issues? 

Since 2015, JUST Capital has surveyed more than 96,000 Americans on what they believe U.S. companies should prioritize most when it comes to just business behavior. This year, in collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago, JUST Capital asked a representative sample of more than 4,000 Americans to compare 29 different business Issues on a head-to-head basis in order to produce a data-driven roadmap for corporate leaders to align their business practices with the priorities of the American public.

The goal? To restore faith in business during this era of declining trust and mobilize the private sector in support of the country’s most pressing societal challenges.

A Roadmap for Stakeholder Capitalism

In this year’s survey, we aimed to get to the heart of what Issues matter most when it comes to just business behavior – and to provide more specific guidance to companies looking to improve performance based on this stakeholder model. We asked Americans to compare key business Issues directly, on a head-to-head basis, in order to produce a reliable hierarchy of Issues ranked in order of priority. We then assigned each Issue to the stakeholder it most impacts.

The key takeaway? Across many demographics – liberal, conservative, high-income, low-income, men, women, millennials, and boomers – Americans placed worker-related issues – pay, benefits, and treatment – at the heart of just business practices. 

To further provide corporate America with additional clarity around how to better balance stakeholder interests, JUST Capital classified each of the 29 Issues by the stakeholder it most impacts. The public’s priorities closely mirror those in the framework recently adopted by the Business Roundtable, including how a company: 

  • Invests in its Workers. (35% weight)
  • Treats its Customers. (24% weight)
  • Supports Communities, including its international supply chain. (18% weight)
  • Impacts the Environment. (11% weight)
  • Serves its Shareholders through good governance. (11% weight)

Explore the full results here for a deep dive into the American public’s current views on business, as well a compelling roadmap for where companies should focus their efforts to create a more just and inclusive economy.

And on November 12, JUST Capital will demonstrate which corporations are leading the way in this new stakeholder economy with the release of America’s Most JUST Companies – including the Forbes JUST 100, the only comprehensive ranking which measures how the largest publicly traded U.S. companies are performing on key issues relating to workers, customers, communities, the environment, and shareholders. So stay tuned.

Have questions about our research and rankings?  We want to hear from you!