What Do Corporations Owe Society?
The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits, according to one of Rutgers’ most famous and influential graduates, the Nobel-Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. Or is it? What do you think? Everyone in the world has a stake in answering this question because the conduct of business is central to the quality of our everyday life and planet: from the products we purchase—for example, seafood, toys, pet food, gasoline, pharmaceuticals—and the Earth’s resources used in making those products, to the type of work we do. In this seminar, we will examine the words and actions of modern corporations as they respond to pressures from government and consumer groups who demand more responsibility. In particular, we will explore how they communicate their social responsibility to us.