Is Issue 1 Ok?

Essay by rach8630 May 2006

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

In today's fast-paced society money is king, and those who have control over money understand this very well. In "Taking Sides" by Marc Street, the issue of corporations and their responsibilities outside of making a profit is introduced. Street explains that the out dated "shareholder" theory of maximizing profits has been replaced with a newer, bolder theory known as the stakeholder theory. Now these may not sound different, but in retrospect are complete opposites. The traditional shareholder theory implies that a company should work only for the share, or stockholders and work as hard as possible to make the highest profit. On the other hand, stakeholders are all people affected by a corporation: the shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, community, local governments and any other individuals affected by the business. The stakeholder theory states that corporations have a responsibility to all of these groups because each group is affected by the success, or downfall of the company.

Two articles are presented. One article is in favor of corporations taking more responsibility than making a profit, and the other is against the extra responsibility besides profit maximization.

In "Introduction to Social Responsibility" by Robert Hay and Edmund Gray, the pro-side of expanding corporate responsibility is brought forward. Hay and Gray give a brief history of corporate responsibility. Beginning with the late eighteenth century, and leading up to the late 1960's. The authors describe a, "shift in managerial emphasis from owners' interests to group interests, and finally, to society's interests." (Street 7). The article explains that since a corporation is an establishment of society, that the company has a duty to aid that society. In the United States, social responsibility has spanned three phases. According to the article, phase one is the idea of profit maximization. It is based on the...