Issues of moral and political philosophy necessarily entail a consideration of political economy, which is comprised of two fundamental overlapping concerns: the relationship of government and business, and the relationship between business and the rest of society. It is the second issue that has spawned notions regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the firm’s actions in that regard—that is, its corporate social performance (CSP) and the corporate social orientation of its managers—as well as much scholarship concerned with social issues in management and business and society. With some oversimplification, these topics can all be distilled into the question, “What are the societal responsibilities of business?”

Although answers to that question have tended to fall into one or the other of two strongly contrasting models (discussed ...

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