20 September 2019

Matteo Corsalini met with Giancarlo Sciascia to discuss about his ongoing PhD project on the new ‘corporate turn’ in law and religion.

Since the 80s and 90s,  finance’s extraordinary enmeshment in the productive real economy has further strengthened the mantra that “the social responsibility of business is to increase profits” – as Milton Friedman would have it. So here is how an handful of private corporations, controlled by financially-minded owners such as private equities (PE) or venture capitals (VC), acknowledge that profit-maximisation has become a moral obligation: the higher the gains and returns to financial shareholders, the greater the compensations  directors and managers will get.

In this vein, as CEOs increasingly demand responsible market-oriented behaviours to stakeholders, new management methods infusing corporate governance with values redolent of theological meaning (a sense of ‘mission’, ‘vision’ and ‘community’ ) to stimulate enthusiasm and productivity among employees, seem to have been steadily spreading in Europe.

In tune with FBK-ISR’S  Mission and the research-action’s dimension of ‘the religion of innovation’, some questions then might then be posited: on the threshold of the secularisation of ideologies, are we witnessing to new religiously-styled forms of management?  And what  practical implications for the law? By demanding value congruence to shareholders and claiming exemptions from anti-discrimination laws to terminate employees who do not comply with the profit motive, do secular profit-corporations act as they were de facto religious organisations appointing their ministers in the best interest of their mission?

Follow the interview here:

Matteo Corsalini will be giving a talk about the legal implications of corporate religious freedom at the international conference: ‘Labour law and forms of religious convictions’ organised by the Department of Law, Politics and International Studies of the University of Parma to be held from 20 to 21 September.

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