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Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Norman Barry
Chapter
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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Corporate Social Responsibility Business Ethic Social Responsibility Corporate Governance Affirmative Action 
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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Notes

  1. 2.
    See S. Littlechild, ‘Misleading Calculations of the Social Costs of Monopoly Power’, Economic Journal (1981) pp. 348–63.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    F. Fukuyama, Trust (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1995).Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    W. Evan and R. Freeman, ‘A Stakeholder Theory of the Modem Corporation: Kantian Capitalism’, in Beauchamp and Bowie, Ethical Theory and Business, p. 82. For a critique of the idea, see Elaine Sternberg, ‘Stakeholder Theory: The Defective State it’s In’, in D. Green (ed.) Stakeholding and Its Critics (London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1997).Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    See M. Ricketts, The Economics of Business Enterprise (London: Harvester, 2nd edn, 1994)Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    See J.K. Galbraith, The New Industrial State (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974).Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    J. Kuhn and D. Shriver, Beyond Success (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991)Google Scholar
  7. 22.
    See Manne’s The Modem Corporation and Social Responsibility (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1972) p. 29.Google Scholar
  8. 25.
    See A. Shenfield, ‘The Businessman and the Politician’, in N. Barry (ed.) Limited Government, Individual Liberty and the Rule of Law (Cheltenham: Elgar, forthcoming, 1998).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Norman Barry 1998

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  • Norman Barry

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