Should Firms Go “Beyond Profits”? Milton Friedman versus Broad CSR1

Business and Society Review 117 (1):1-31 (2012)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTWhen attempting to articulate the nature and scope of corporate social responsibility , a variety of opinions emerge. The primary CSR issue appears to be: Should firms go “beyond profits”? In order to address this normative question, this article will explore the theoretical underpinnings of CSR and its practical application. Part one of the paper begins by discussing common CSR definitions. Part two outlines the CSR debate in terms of the “narrow view” of CSR versus the “broad view” . Part three applies both the narrow and broad approaches to CSR in analyzing two classic business and society cases: the Ford Pinto; and Merck's river blindness pill. The article concludes with a proposed synthesis of the CSR approaches discussed

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David Schwartz
Randolph College

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