Ethical Perspectives On Social Responsibility

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Ethical Perspectives on Social Responsibility Corporations are encouraged to conduct their activities in an ethically responsible manner, however neither the corporate world nor academia has produced a single – all encompassing definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The basic problem is that there are too many self-serving definitions that often lean toward the specific interests of the entities involved (Van Marrewijk, 2003). There has even been a quantitative study conducted on the many definitions of the term (Dahlsrud, 2006). Today’s culture in the United States political and business environment is one of hyper political correctness. Though philosophers have wrestled with human behavior for centuries, social…show more content…
In (Cohen, 2008), the author quotes (Drucker, 1946) in noting that “Every organization must assume full responsibility for its impact on its employees, the environment, customers, and whomever and whatever it touches”. According to (Cohen, 2008; Drucker, 1946), that is the very definition of social responsibility. There are many ambiguities surrounding the concept of social responsibility; everything from definition to terminology, even what actions constitute responsible behavior is unsettled (Vogel, 2005). For purposes of this paper we will use the term corporate social responsibility (CSR). William Cohen was a student of Peter Drucker and subscribed to many of Drucker’s teachings on business social responsibility, even though many who wrote on the topic disagreed with Drucker. Drucker’s writings regarding CSR and his belief that managers shared those responsibilities for the greater good of society was not only unpopular, but dismissed out of hand by his contemporaries. The idea that a company was responsible for solving societal ills was unheard of at that time (Cohen, 2008). If there was an entity responsible for solving society’s problems, it was widely thought to be the government. However, Drucker would lament in his autobiography, Adventures of a Bystander, that organizations can not exist in a sick society and that it was incumbent upon the ‘professionals’ that run those
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