Profit Maximization, Corporate Social Responsibility As

The claim that the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits is associated with the late Milton Friedman and is the title of a famous article he published in 1970. The article is a devastating critique of the popular idea that corporations have social responsibilities that trump profit maximization. It has proved to be prophetic. The article was written, as it states, against a background of “widespread aversion to ‘capitalism,' ‘profits,' [and] the ‘soulless corporation.'” At the time, Friedman further noted, managers would often disguise actions that were really intended to increase profits in the cloak of corporate social responsibility (CSR). But today, in a remarkable reversal, Friedman's doctrine of shareholder value is triumphant, and managers often use the rhetoric of profit maximization ...

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