Do companies have a selfish or societal interest in creating jobs?
While different governance systems in use around the world place radically different weight on the rights of shareholders as against employees and other stakeholders, very few business initiatives are pursued with the express purpose of creating jobs. Indeed, there is very little consensus about whether it is business’s “job” to create jobs, and what kind. In a recent radio interview, a Boston entrepreneur noted, “I’d much rather create 100 good-paying jobs than 200 minimum-wage jobs.” Is she right, in your view?
While it is hard to imagine a boardroom conversation in which “creating jobs” is the primary focus, it is nonetheless true that many executives take pride in the ability of their companies to support communities, and they measure growth by overall employment.
Where are you on this question? With a new Administration here in the U.S. that is holding companies’ feet to the fire on this question, should companies rethink their role in job creation? Are they responsible to their own economics and efficiency, or to the larger system?