Employees, Investors Are Effective Activists

Many corporations are ivory towers that resist the winds of change. These pillars against progress are crumbling as consumers, employees and stockholders apply more pressure for transparency and accountability. Corporations are applying that same pressure on governments.

In the past, disgruntled consumers had few options except for bumper stickers, posters, t-shirts and uncoordinated boycotts. The game has changed in the digital age and consumers with a conscience are responding:

  • 87 percent of Americans will purchase a product because a company advocates for an important issue;
  • 73 percent of millennials will spend more on a product, if it’s from a sustainable brand; and
  • 81 percent of millennials expect their favorite companies to be responsible citizens.

Social media and big data have made information about government and corporations more transparent than ever. Actions and policies once hidden in the shadows of bureaucracy are discovered and publicized by the masses.

Today employees are among the most vocal stakeholder groups demanding corporate change. Employees at General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler persuaded the companies to adopt domestic partner benefits equivalent to those available to straight employees. Internal activists have pressed companies to reduce their carbon footprints. And Nike cut off ties to suppliers in Bangladesh when they were found to be unsafe.

Company employees have many reasons to become advocates for change. They are vested in the companies that they work for and they are immersed in the culture. Their identity is linked to the company’s reputation.

Read the full story about corporate activism and government reform.

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