A balanced concept of the firm and the measurement of its long-term planning and performance

Journal of Business Ethics 17 (11):1129-1144 (1998)
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Abstract

This paper offers a new concept of the firm that aims at balancing the corporate economic, social, and environmental responsibilities and goes beyond the stakeholder approach. It intends to provide a conceptual and operationalizable basis to fairly assess corporate conduct from both inside and outside the companies. To a large extent these different responsibilities may overlap and reinforce each other. However, if they conflict, they should be clearly evaluated for their own sake and in terms of wealth creation. Only then can a balanced approach be realized. Section 1 briefly discusses some general aspects of the relationship between concepts and measurement. In Section 2, a concept of the firm is developed that is based on the notion of responsibility and balances economic, social and environmental responsibilities. According to these concepts, different ways of measuring corporate planning and performance are examined in Section 3, followed up by a summary and conclusions.

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