The view has been gaining widespread acceptance that corporate officials and labor leaders have a "social responsibility" that goes beyond serving the interest of their stockholders or their members. . . . Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundation of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible. This is a fundamentally subversive doctrine. . . . The claim that business should contribute to the support of charitable activities. . . . is an inappropriate use of corporate funds in a free enterprise society.
I maintain that business must change its priorities. We are not in business to make maximum profit for our shareholders. We are in business for only one reason -- to serve society. Profit is our reward for doing it well. If business does not serve society, society will not tolerate our profits or even our existence.
These quotes depict the dilemma that many businesses are in today. They are being pushed, pulled, shoved, and criticized (and only occasionally commended) from all sides on what is proper and correct for them to do in the area of social responsibility. Numerous businesses today still have only a minimum awareness of what social responsibility is, what it means, or what they should do (if anything) about it. Many of the smaller and medium-sized businesses (and even a few of the larger businesses) do not have a major or