Social Enterprise Summit

Academic Forum - “Taking the Pulse of ‘Certified B Corporation’: Lessons Learned in the Past Decade (2011-2021)”

Certified B Corporation, a voluntary certification for companies to balance purpose and profit, is a new way of organizing and a movement to transform the current capitalism as we know it into a transformative, sustainable, and inclusive form of capitalism. Certified B Corporation has gained prominence as an area research among business academics in the past decade. In this Region alone, Certified B Corporations have seen a steady rise with 31 certified organizations in China and Hong Kong, 29 in Taiwan, 15 in South Korea, and 6 in Japan (as of 31 May 2021). However, the rise of Certified B Corporation has left many unanswered questions, including the motivation for companies seeking B Corporation certification, when and how to gain certification, the possible intended and unintended outcomes of having the certification, to the debate on whether B Corporation certification is necessary.

In this Academic Forum, we seek to take the pulse and take stock of what we know and still do not know about Certified B Corporation as a global and local phenomenon, and to chart new agendas and ask new questions that can deepen our understanding of the phenomenon. This Forum serves to bridge scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and the public to consider Certified B Corporation as a new way of thinking about and operationalizing the role of business in society.