Business in Society

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As businesses expand their global reach, environmental footprints are everywhere around us and giant global corporations are emerging. It result in an increasingly level of societal suspicion about the effects on big business on society at large.

In the 21st century the essence of doing business will move beyond simply creating shareholders wealth, which is mostly established by Anglo-Saxon economies. To borrow Milton Friedman's phrase, "the business of business is business” will extend its reach to other fields.

Furthermore, as the Western economy is shifted towards a knowledge based economy it mainly consists of knowledge workers whom personal aims and motivations are different as during the 20th century. Therefore, businesses and how they do business has to move beyond creating shareholder value.

Large companies must build social issues into strategy in a way that reflects their actual business importance. Such companies need to articulate their social contribution and to define their ultimate purpose in a way that is more subtle than "the business of business is business" and less defensive than most current CSR approaches.


  • Blurring boundaries between responsibilities and laws
  • Butterfly effect
  • Discontinuities in demographics and resources
  • Growing safety, security concerns; sensitivity to risk
  • Rising inequality
  • Shifting values, social norms
  • Ubiquity of technology


  • Corporations that do not comply with agreed conventions
  • Shareholder value
  • Global legislation in form of coventions and treaties
  • National goverments that do not comply with agreed conventions


owing to pressure from the world community and corporate citizen, over the next ten years businesses will operate differently as they do now.


  • EU
  • United Nations
  • National Governments
  • Research Institutes & Universities (CSR research)
  • Business Schools
  • The Economist
  • McKinsey



Web Resources