Social Responsibility And Corporate Responsibility

872 Words4 Pages
The concept of social responsibility likely has its roots in the Puritans and Quakers teachings of the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritans characterized humanity negatively, believing humankind to be hopelessly sinful. Quakers held a positive view, believing that of there is God (good) inside everyone. According to Heald [1970], corporate managements began to demonstrate social responsibility by considering community welfare as a whole in their goals to maximize profits and shareholders value. Shareholder response to social responsibility became more prominent during the 1980s. Broyles [1998] highlighted the role of shareholder activism, which was responsible for ending U.S. corporations’ involvement in South Africa during Apartheid. As a result, many management teams incorporated corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their management philosophy. At the time, CSR’s benefit to shareholders was debated widely. Those against CSR, used agency theory and the statement by Friedman [1970] which argues that the only social responsibility of business is to increase its profits, known commonly as the shareholder model of business. For investors, CSR can be viewed either through a Puritan or a Quaker lens. They can invest in firms that promote social responsibility (a Quaker approach) or divest in firms that are socially irresponsible (a Puritanical approach). Initially, religious organizations began to shun investing in corporations whose businesses involved
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