The attempts to moralize corporations are by no means limited to enforcing very strict rules of behaviour on their activities, rules which might not be thought applicable to private individuals. Business ethics now seems to be imposing positive moral duties on commercial enterprises. They are now required to perform duties which private persons are not expected to perform: that is, actions which go beyond the observance of basic and conventional rules, respect for property, contract and conventionally established rights. They are not merely to refrain from wrongdoing but are to act positively for the public good. The rationale for the imposition of such duties on corporations derives largely from the claim that their existence depends solely upon a grant of privileges from the state. It would seem that they owe something to society in return for this (in addition to supplying wanted consumer goods and creating employment). If this idea were taken to some of the extremes suggested, corporations would have fewer rights than private persons.
KeywordsCorporate Social Responsibility Business Ethic Social Responsibility Corporate Governance Affirmative Action
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