The company must now worry about the common good or focus only on the financial interest of its shareholders ? This issue of the social object of the company agitated for months for world management, where attempts have emerged to take a new direction to capitalism. The question that arises is the consideration of different stakeholders that may be confronted in the power of the commercial enterprise : employees, of course, but also suppliers, customers, etc., to include the environmental issue.
It is here in the symbolic : the leaders are fortunately already likely to integrate social or environmental concerns into their decisions. And justice has recognised for a long time the social interest of the company in its case-law.
But there are symbols that count. There were debates and reports. And here in the vast law Covenant, presented a few days ago by the Economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, and which will be discussed in Parliament in the fall, the proposal for a new wording of article 1833 of the civil code : the company must be managed “in considering the social and environmental implications of its activity”.
Some would have liked to go further, take an option even bolder and put them on a strict plan of equal shareholder and the famous stakeholders. It is not there, but the symbol is already strong. These few words added to the civil code could change minds.
The private company, we keep a reasons of legitimacy and image. Shareholders, profits, dividends, etc. are still bigger words in the ears of many French people. The world management is partly responsible. The recent example of the former boss of the Crossroads, which, in addition to remuneration already colossal for the common man, and a pension as a result, was awarded a non-competition clause of several million euros – he has waived it after the controversy -shows a shift guilty with a French company fragile, anxious and already uneasy with the liberalism.
But, careful, the reform will play a positive role that each of us is responsible. Companies and their bosses, but also unions, NGOS or associations. The future article 1833 should not be a pretext to ongoing litigation. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the country’s economic problems will be resolved not with companies less strong but, on the contrary, more efficient. A capitalism that is more balanced may help.