The Corporation in Society

Course Code: POLS 2020

Academic Year: 2021-2022

Traditionally, corporations have been permitted to operate free from the moral and social obligations imposed on other institutions. The maximization of profits for shareholders has long been seen as the only appropriate object for corporations. Recently, however, this view has been challenged. A growing movement insists that corporations ought to subordinate the pursuit of profit to the fulfillment of social responsibilities. This course explores how socially responsible corporations should conduct their business affairs. The course begins by laying out the general principles of corporate social responsibility, while identifying the parties, known as stakeholders, whose interest corporations ought to heed. Afterwards, the course proceeds through each of the stakeholders, analyzing the particular challenges each pose to the socially responsible corporation. At the end of the course, a framework for the comprehensive social evaluation of corporations is developed in the form of a social audit. Category and Level: Society, Culture and Commerce, Lower Level Restrictions: None