The Future Of Corporate Social Responsibility

1784 Words Jul 21st, 2015 8 Pages
To understand the future of Corporate Social Responsibility I think it is necessary to look back at the genesis of corporations. Originally started in 17th century Europe, corporations were sanctioned by monarchs (what we might call “the state” today), granting them the privilege to formally exist, typically to finance a trade mission. The corporation was made up of investors who limited their liability to the amount of their investment. In return for the privilege of forming the corporation, they would further the cause of the state and share a portion of the financial rewards back with the monarchy. Corporations extracted wealth from foreign lands and dominated trade with the support of the state, mutually benefiting the corporation and the nation where they served.
American colonists sought their independence from England in 1776, and one of the freedoms they sought was to be out from under the control of British corporations who were exploiting American resources in collaboration with the British government. The early Americans had a healthy fear of mingling corporations with governmental power and chose to limit their roles exclusively to a business role at first. Corporations were restricted from attempting to influence public policies and elections, but in reality there was still intermingling of those in power with those forming corporations. Initially in the new colonies, incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public such as…
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