Most people assume that corporations are like their outward appearance, friendly and well mannered. 48% of the UK population think businesses behave ethically.
But this this percentage has been falling. Around the world, less than half of millennials think corporations behave well, according to a survey in 36 countries carried out by Deloitte.
Many businesses behave badly, and for obvious reasons. Corporations are owned by shareholders whose primary focus is the pursuit of profit. This means that corporate goals are often at odds with the needs of employees, the local community and the planet.
This gap between people and corporations has grown wider as businesses have increasingly gone global. Most corporations no longer feel answerable to a local community or nation.
And in its pursuit of profit, British industry is afflicted by short-termism – the need to maintain shareholder dividends. This leads to under investment, and poor terms and conditions for employees.
Corporations spend billions running PR and CSR (corporate social responsibility) campaigns that suggest they’re good citizens. This is often just whitewash.
So it is important that corporate bad behaviour should be logged and made available to the public. We need to ensure that Wikipedia records corporate wilful misbehaviour, so that opinion formers and the public get to know what they’ve done. Too many corporations are repeat offenders; and much of the malfeasance is never recorded.