In essence, a corporate executive is obliged to be responsible for the general profitability of the institution for which they aid (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). Their action, as long as it is within the confines of laws should be aimed at creating stability within the company. Notably, most of the corporate companies are owned by a group of shareholders who are very demanding for a noticeable return on their investment (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). As such, a corporate executive is obliged to work towards the achievement of the various demands of the company’s shareholders. Ensuring that the organization gains profits and a competitive market advantage is vital to these corporate executives (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012).
Notably, most shareholders in corporate companies have expanded interests that revolves within a number of fiduciary obligation (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). With an objective of serving the interests of the corporation together with that of the respective shareholders, the corporate officers should also focus primarily on the profitability of the corporation they serve. However, it is very much apparent that most of the shareholders in the 21st century are increasingly becoming sophisticated and demanding (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). Therefore, an executive officer in a corporation is obliged to pay attention to the specific demands and direction as purported by the shareholders (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). Arguably, the 21st century shareholders are assumed to comprehend the virtues that pertains to the sustainability of corporate culture and role of the company to the society. As such, most of the stakeholders have accorded the executives expanded responsibilities other than just the profitability of the company (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). For instance, the corporate social responsibility is currently an obligation of corporate executive in any viable institution.
Per se, a corporate executive must enact a comprehensive short and long-term plans crucial in moving the company forward (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). These entails innovating product ideas, a decision on a viable product diversification plan and entry into a new market. The executive is tasked with remaining updated on the current market trends and a determination of the specific needs of the company (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). The development and provision of comprehensive frameworks in the company is a prerogative of an executive. With an ever increasing sophistication in the corporate structures, the roles of such executives are becoming more diversified. For instance, the identification of an active customer base and comprehending the needs and specific requirements of the clients remains one of the priorities of a company executive (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012). The first obligation should be serving the interest of the company’s clients. Correspondingly, designing a relationship between the clients and the workforce and among the employees will determine the extent of survival and profitability of an institution (Brammer, Jackson, & Matten, 2012).
Being responsible entails much more to the corporate executives who are obliged to go through lives that revolves around ensuring the success of the company. Some level of personal responsibility must be depicted in the life of an executive and the profitability of the establishment should be a commitment (Bowen, 2013). The role of an executive spins mostly around profitability, a fact many scholars are beginning to question. Little attention is given to their role and responsibility to the community from which they serve. The community being a significant component of a corporate cycle must be held in high esteem by the top management in an institution (Bowen, 2013). Therefore, a corporate executive is also responsible for drafting comprehensive plans that stipulates ways to be used in ensuring the community also benefits from the profitability of the institution. For example, initiating community help programs such as town clean-up activities as a way of giving back to the society is crucial to the general survival of an institution (Bowen, 2013).
Chief executives have well stipulated fiduciary obligations according to law that includes; a duty to care for the wellbeing of the company and a duty to remain loyal. Just like the shareholders, the executives, according to law holds the same responsibilities and obligation to the corporation (profitability) (Tricker, 2015). To most people, the role of an executive in an institution is more of oversight and management duties, a fact that is vehemently refuted by some scholars. Well-equipped with high standards of education and training, a corporate executive plays a crucial role in the development of the cognitive aspect of the employees. For instance, as a result of their invaluable experiences and expertise, the company employees will learn some of the important management skills from the corporate executives (Tricker, 2015).
In conclusion, the traditional idea of profitability as the primary role of a corporate executive should be considered as a wayward mentality. The idea of making money, though noble, is a well-rounded paradigms that surrounds the responsibility of a corporate executive. Additionally, the company stakeholders should not limit the role and jurisdiction of the executives. As long as their actions are what a reasonable man will describe as legal under corporate laws, a 21st century executive is more responsible both to the company and to the society.
Bowen, H. R. (2013). Social responsibilities of the businessman. University of Iowa Press.
Brammer, S., Jackson, G., & Matten, D. (2012). Corporate social responsibility and institutional theory: New perspectives on private governance. Socio-Economic Review, 10(1), 3-28.
Tricker, R. I. (2015). Corporate governance: Principles, policies, and practices. Oxford University Press, USA.