An Evaluation of Profit-Sacrificing Social Responsibility
This chapter discusses whether the public interest would be better served if companies moderated profits in favour of social policy objectives. It also addresses some examples of profit-sacrificing social responsibility. It begins by exploring the validity of three groups of criticisms, namely the efficiency argument, the deference argument, and the shareholders' money argument. It also assesses the adoption of other-regarding constraints in the light of them, and similarly, the practice of social activism. It then explains how the concept of social responsibility should be understood if progress is to be made in establishing a legal framework conducive to improved standards of corporate behaviour. It is concluded that not only did responsibility in the sense of building in additional constraints or self-regulation survive the various arguments against it, but that there was a positive case for it, as a means of supplementing external regulation.
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