Transforming the Corporation
Under the expanded capital ownership paradigm espoused by CESJ, the business corporation (whether a small local business or a giant multinational) can become a vehicle for building a more free and just marketplace. CESJ places a very high focus on helping corporate managers to see that they can do their job more effectively by incorporating economic justice in the way they do business.
Through ESOPs and similar means for empowering corporate workers and customers, more people could legitimately acquire ownership of the growth of capital without taking from those who own existing assets. These new owners would be able to get income from capital as a supplement to their wage incomes.
Under “Justice-Based Management,” employees would supplement their fixed wages or salaries with monthly and annual bonuses, stock and dividends — all generated out of profits. Each employee could automatically earn and accumulate property while working in a participatory corporate culture, thus gaining a direct, personal interest in the success and profitability of his or her employer company.
Justice-Based Leadership: Serving, Teaching and Empowering Others
Justice-Based Leadership (JBL) is a philosophy that aligns individual and group values, mission, actions, structures, and systems around a shared understanding of, and adherence to, clearly defined and universal principles of social justice and economic justice. It guides the development and operation of an individual business or organization, as well as of a larger economic or political system.
Justice-based leaders seek to promote a culture that develops, enriches and empowers each member of the group and thereby strengthens the whole. Justice-based leadership drives a dynamic process that seeks constantly to create structures, systems and institutions that decentralize power, and that teach, empower and inspire every person to become a justice-based leader.
Justice-Based Governance: Exercising One’s Right of Control
Justice-Based Governance recognizes a fundamental right of private property: An owner is entitled to the fruits from what he or she owns, as well as a voice and control over how his or her assets are used. In a corporation a shareholder’s portion of the total ownership in the business is reflected by the number of shares owned.
Justice requires that an owner be able to say how his/her wealth is used by the corporation. Thus, an owner’s right of control is, or should be, reflected by the vote he or she can exercise in order to protect what that shareholder owns.
Most shareholders (including employee-owners in ESOP companies) probably think less on a day-to-day basis about their voting power, and think more about the economic returns they receive from their ownership. However, the right to vote one’s shares is an essential part of ownership. When a critical issue or decision arises that may affect a person’s assets, that owner must be able to exercise his or her power and voice in the decisions. The importance of the vote may not be evident until a crisis occurs, but without the vote the owner is stripped of power.
A properly designed governance system will protect the property rights of every shareholder and worker-shareholder. These rights include the right to elect representatives to the Board of Directors and hold corporate management accountable. However, a justice-based corporate governance system must also allow management to function effectively and make typical operational decisions in order for the business to operate.
Justice-Based Management: A New Paradigm for Business
Justice-Based ManagementSM (JBMSM) embodies the Justice-Based Leadership philosophy and applies within management systems and structures universal principles of economic and social justice. The ultimate purpose of JBMSM is to create and sustain ownership cultures that enhance the dignity and development of every member of the company, and to economically empower each person as an owner and worker.
JBMSM promotes a company’s long-term profitability within the global marketplace by enabling all worker-owners to serve and provide higher value to the customer. JBMSM connects every worker’s self-interest to the bottom-line and long-term success of the company.
The JBMSM process builds upon a written articulation of the philosophy and principles of the company’s leader (typically the CEO or chairman of the board) and leadership core group, in terms of universal principles and core values of the company. JBMSM proceeds in stages to build a consensus upon these fundamental shared values and vision of the company within each work area of the company.
These articulated values provide the foundation for enhancing the productiveness of workers and company profitability, and include such structures as employee-monitored economic incentive programs, participation and governance structures, two-way communications and accountability systems, conflict management systems and future planning and renewal programs.