The Corporation and the Executive in the Community

Thursday, January 1st, 1987 at 12:00 am by John H. Bryan, Jr.
John H. Bryan, Jr., The Corporation and the Executive in the Community, 1987 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 695

Normally when I find myself behind the lectern, it is to deliver a pro-competitive exhortation to the managers of Sara Lee. Equally often, I am speaking to industry groups to analyze or plead the case for a particular issue. Since neither of these sorts of speeches is appropriate today, I will address a more relevant though perhaps currently less fashionable subject. I would like to express some points of view about the role of the corporation and the role of corporate executives in relation to the community in which they exist. With a rather substantial degree of community involvement during my own career, perhaps I feel the need to rationalize all that extracurricular activity. At any rate, I have chosen to offer a few reflections and opinions regarding the relationship of the business world and society at large.

Author Information

B.A. 1958, Rhodes College. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sara Lee Corporation. This lecture was delivered on February 17, 1987 at the Columbia University School of Law on the occasion of the presentation of the Lawrence A. Wien Award for Corporate Responsibility to the Sara Lee Corporation.