Protests from Within: Engaging with Employee Activists

6 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2021

See all articles by Stephen Miles

Stephen Miles

The Miles Group (TMG)

David F. Larcker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Stanford University - Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Date Written: March 8, 2021

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a growing trend of stakeholder issues becoming prominent in discussions of corporate governance. One source of this pressure comes from an unexpected constituent: the company’s own employee base. In this Closer Look, we examine the rise of employee activism and its implications on corporate mission, the board, and management.

We ask:

• How well does management and the board understand the impact of employee activism on its business?

• Does activism lead to lost productivity, or does supporting activist initiatives improve the company’s reputation in the labor market?

• How well has the board set the boundaries on ESG-related activities the company will engage in?

• How should companies engage in relevant issues without losing sight of the company’s core mission?

Keywords: Corporate governance, activism, employee activism, social risk, political risk, corporate activism, advocacy, corporate advocacy, corporate social responsibility, ESG, ESG investing, social issues, viral, twitter, slack, boycott, protest, environmental issues, controversy, corporate reputation

Suggested Citation

Miles, Stephen and Larcker, David F. and Tayan, Brian, Protests from Within: Engaging with Employee Activists (March 8, 2021). Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Working Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3801120

Stephen Miles (Contact Author)

The Miles Group (TMG) ( email )

630 Fifth Avenue Suite 3210
New York, NY 10111

HOME PAGE: http://miles-group.com/

David F. Larcker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Graduate School of Business
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-725-6159 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Stanford University - Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance ( email )

Crown Quadrangle 559 Nathan Ab
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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