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Responsible Leadership Conference of the F.A.Z.-Institute - Bohnen presents CPR


As a panelist at the F.A.Z.-Institut's "Responsible Leadership" conference, Dr. Johannes Bohnen presented the central theses of his new book "Corporate Political Responsibility - How Businesses Can Strengthen Democracy for Mutual Benefit" In the digital format, Bohnen discussed "Social vs. political responsibility - or both?" with Dr. Cristian Grossmann, CEO of Beekeeper AG. The exchange was moderated by F.A.Z business editor Sven Astheimer.

Bohnen pointed out that companies should invest more in the socio-political breeding ground of their economic success in their interest. This, he said, necessitates a shift from CSR to CPR. When companies develop their political brand, this offers profiling and differentiation opportunities within the competition. CPR, then, is a business case. The strategic importance of the approach, in turn, makes it a leadership issue; not least because corporate leaders can put a face to the company's political engagement. When they get involved in business-relevant public debates, it is referred to as "CEO activism. Here, it is not a matter of simple moral answers, Bohnen explained. Rather, CEOs could illustrate the complex decision-making situations in which they had to combine business interests and political stances, and thereby gain the trust of their diverse stakeholders. Operating in the Chinese market came up as a particularly challenging borderline case.

More than 400 participants attended the conference, including Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr and Triple Bottom Line inventor John Elkington.

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