The latest example: L.L. Bean. It may indeed seem “illogical and unfair,” as the L.L. Bean spokesperson said, to “attribute the personal political activities of one member of a five-generation ownership family to our entire company.” But this is where we are — as a result of Citizens United, Hobby Lobby, and the expanding presence of politics, religion, and culture in the corporate sphere. It has happened before — with Mozilla and Chick-fil-A, among many others — and the instances will likely keep growing.
Grant Hayden and I have argued that employees need to play a greater role in the corporation’s culture, especially when the corporation takes a stance on religious or political issues. If workers and customers know that a corporation’s culture is more than just the political and religious views of its owners and executives, the personal activities of those owners and executives will recede back into the background — as they should.