About Its Social Role
Waxing eloquent about stakeholder management and corporate social responsibility is in some circles the surest way to stifle a business conversation, if not a business career. Corporate philanthropy brings satisfaction to those who give and receive, the argument goes, but let us not get carried away by talk of give-aways. Global competition is relentless and exacting. Comments such as “The purpose of the company is to make money for its owners.” or “Any talk that distracts from this goal is tantamount to corporate treason” are not untypical.
This kind of corporate thought control may be street-smart, but it violates the basic tenets of freedom of inquiry and action that are essential to creating wealth. So, let us exercise our right to talk about a social role for business. What, if anything, should the company do to ameliorate the ills that beset society