Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 93–103 | Cite as

Justifying moral initiative by business, with rejoinders to Bill Shaw and Richard Nunan

  • Thomas M. Mulligan


In this paper I respond to separate criticisms by Bill Shaw (JBE, July 1988) and Richard Nunan (JBE, December 1988) of my paper “A Critique of Milton Friedman's Essay ‘The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits’” (JBE, August 1986). Professors Shaw and Nunan identify several points where my argument could benefit from clarification and improvement. They also make valuable contributions to the discussion of the broad issue area of whether and to what extent business should exercise moral initiative.

My objectives are (1) to show, with the aid of examples (inspired by Shaw) and the addition of one point of correction (inspired by Nunan), that my disapproving critique of Friedman's famous argument remains sound, (2) to show that Professor Shaw's argument contains serious problems, and (3) to build on the base laid by my critics by developing important reasons why business should exercise moral initiative.


Economic Growth Social Responsibility Clarification Milton Valuable Contribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas M. Mulligan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

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