Company strategies for social responsibility

Date of publication: September 1, 1996

Author: Carl C. Rohde


Milton Friedman developed his theories regarding economics and politics in the seventies. These theories became influential in the eighties when both Reagan and Thatcher used Friedman's ideas to promote their economic reforms. Friedman was clear as to the role of business in society. "The business of business is business". Business has its own appropriate function which is purely economic. "All business Arms best serve total society by trying to earn the greatest return possible within the existing legal and ethical framework". Friedman’s ideas are no longer 'en vogue'. Many And them too narrowly economic. A broader view has developed concerning the role of business in the nineties-society. Profit is no longer universally regarded as the only aim of the company. For some companies, The Body Shop for example, making profit is no longer even the highest aim. In spite of its extreme position. The Body Shop does not stand alone. Many are of the opinion that, because businesses occupy such a powerful position in our society and hold such a great amount influence, they must develop a broader vision regarding their responsibilities to society than only making a profit. This does not imply that profit-making is not essential. It will, however, become less of a goal in itself. It will become more of an instrument to ... Does 'caring capitalism' belong to the options of the nineties?

Carl C. Rohde


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