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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

Socially responsible business: responsible to whom?
Brooks, Margaret
REPORT 2000 B79135 Public Affairs Library

This report seeks to chronicle the development of corporate social responsibility in the United States. Although the concept has existed for years, the topic has gained greater attention in recent years. Milton Friedman's early statements concerning the role of business in society serve as the foundation for much of the debate today. His argument that business exists solely to maximize shareholder's wealth provides a launching point for supporters and critics of the corporate social responsibility movement. Over the past few decades the rise of cause related marketing practices, socially responsible investing, employee quality of life issues, and workforce development have helped grow the field. Yet the entire subject of cause related marketing remains difficult to defend or refute. Few quantitative metrics exist to measure the correlation between financial performance and social responsibility. This report attempts to introduce the reader to the range of issues as they relate corporate social responsibility.