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Is Profit Maximization the Social Responsibility of Business?"" Milton Friedman and Business Ethics"

  • In 1970, Milton Friedman defined his now famous viewpoint that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits”. This position is still prominent and can be seen as a strong criticizm of most of the currently held views on Corporate Social Responsibility. In this paper, I argue that Friedman’s view has a point, but is, none the less, one-sided. Inappropriate forms of pursuing profits can become a threat to the foundations of a free society to the same degree as inappropriate moral demands for corporate social responsibility which were – rightly – criticized by Friedman.

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Document Type:Working Paper
Author:Andreas Suchanek
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Economic and Business Ethics
Full text/ URN:urn:nbn:de:101:1-200910061875
Series (Serial Number):HHL-Arbeitspapier / HHL Working paper (69)
Year of Completion:2005
HHL Working Paper 69. Leipzig: HHL – Leipzig Graduate School of Management, 2005