27 Nov 2023

Sustainable Business Research Peak: Workshop on ‘Corporate Purpose’

Monday, November 27, 4pm

The debate on “corporate purpose” has garnered significant attention in recent years, ranging from enlightened shareholder value maximisation to stakeholder capitalism. There is also growing recognition for businesses to operate in a manner that benefits society and considers broader responsibilities, beyond financial gains. What is the raison d’etre of corporations in society? Should companies pursue anything other than profits? Is corporate purpose different across jurisdictions? Join academic researchers across various disciplines, including business, law, and public affairs, to share their research, exchange insights, and build stronger connections within the sustainability-focused group.

Download presentation slides

by Prof Dan W. Puchniak

by Prof Caroline Flammer


Dr Caroline Flammer is a Professor of International and Public Affairs and of Climate at Columbia University with joint appointments at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Climate School. She is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Research Member at the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). Caroline is an expert in sustainable investing and the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. Her research examines whether and how sustainable finance and impact investing can help finance a more sustainable world. Moreover, her research examines how, and under which conditions, firms can incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into their activities to enhance their competitiveness while strengthening – instead of undermining – the very system in which they operate and hereby play a critical role in addressing climate change, inequality, global health, and other grand challenges related to society and the natural environment. The Web of Science ranked her among the top-100 Highly Cited Researchers in the economics and business profession in terms of impact over the past 10 years. Among other roles, Caroline serves as the President of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS), a global multi-disciplinary network of scholars fostering rigorous academic research on corporate sustainability, and as the Chair of the Academic Advisory Committee of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the largest network of responsible investors to date. She is an Associate Editor for both Management Science and the Strategic Management Journal.

Dr Dan W. Puchniak is a Professor in the Yong Pung How School of Law (YPHSL) at Singapore Management University, the Director of the YPHSL Centre for Commercial Law in Asia, and a Research Member of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). Dan is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of comparative corporate law and governance, with a focus on Asia. He has received numerous domestic and international awards for his academic research and teaching. Dan’s research has been profiled in The Economist, The Japan Times, and The Business Times and has pioneered the emerging field of intra-Asian comparative corporate law and governance. Dan sits on the editorial boards of several leading Asian and comparative law journals and has held visiting academic positions at leading universities around the world. He has advised international organizations on the development of corporate law in Asia, served as an expert in high stakes complex corporate law disputes in Asia, and his research has been cited several times by Singapore’s apex court. Prior to joining YPHSL, Dan was at the National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law. During his 14-years at NUS Law, he served as the Director of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS), Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law (Cambridge University Press), and Director for Corporate Law at the EW Barker Centre for Law & Business. Prior to entering academia, Dan worked as a corporate commercial litigator at one of Canada’s leading law firms.


Dr Hao LIANG is an Associate Professor of Finance and the Co-Director of the Singapore Green Finance Centre at Singapore Management University (SMU), where he is also the recipient of the Ho Bee Professorship in Sustainability Management, BNP Paribas Fellowship, DBS Sustainability Fellowship, and Lee Kong Chian Fellowship. He is an extramural fellow of Tilburg University, and serves as a member of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI), the Steering Committee of Impact & Sustainable Finance Faculty Consortium, and the China ESG30 Forum. He has published his research work in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Finance, Journal of International Business Studies, Management Science, Organization Science, and Journal of Business Venturing, among others. He is the Section Editor (Finance & Business Ethics) of the Journal of Business Ethics, an Associate Editor of the Journal of Business ResearchAsia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies, and British Accounting Review, and on the editorial review board of Strategic Management Journal.

This workshop was organised by SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business and Centre for Commercial Law in Asia, in partnership with the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) and supported by the Singapore Green Finance Centre.