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Business and Generational Justice PDF Print E-mail

"The predominating image of an enterprise as a value-adding system has to be amended to the image of an enterprise as a system depending on resources," writes Prof Dr Müller-Christ in the first issue of the magazine Generationengerechtigkeit (Intergenerational Justice) in 2005, which analyses and discusses the subject of intergenerational justice as an entrepreneurial action strategy.

More precisely, enterprises have to move from their rational and efficiency-based thinking to one of sustainability. As yet almost only the aspect of justice between currently living generations (intragenerational justice) has been implemented and publicised as entrepreneurial policy. However, sustainability is clearly desirable in the area of environmental and employment protection. Another goal is to create working conditions which facilitate the compatibility of family life and work. Therefore the question of sustainability includes social, environmental as well as economic questions. This leads to the question of how conditions could be created by politics to incentivise enterprises to act sustainably. This is important in order to ensure that sustainability will not only be a fashion, but a perennial reality.

This subject is looked upon more intensively in the anthology
Unternehmensleitbild Generationengerechtigkeit ("Corporate mission statement 'intergenerational justice'"), which was published by the foundation in 2005. In it, intergenerational justice is presented as an approach to business philosophy and a way of broadening the established terms of Corporate Governance etc. Thus the book summarises current research. But, over and above, intergenerationally just action must not only be a guideline for producers but also for consumers. Everybody has to assume his or her part of the responsibility. Because of the changed circumstances caused by globalisation leading to a diminishing of state power, attention should be paid to the sense of responsibility of enterprises.

During the symposium
"Unternehmensgerechtigkeit als Leitbild in Unternehmen" ("Entrepreneurial justice as a guideline for enterprises"), which took place at the Evangelischen Akademie (Evangelican Academy) at Anoldsheim in 2004, representatives from science, politics, economy and society discussed about said topics. The question of how the market chances of intergenerationally just enterprises could be improved was especially interesting.