This case details the strategies of three corporations that raise questions on the role of the corporation in society. Central to the debate are the issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR), ethical behavior and corporate philanthropy. On one end are those who fall in line with Milton Friedman’s view that the sole responsibility of corporations is to act in their own self-interest – that is, making profits for themselves and their shareholders. By doing so, they are best serving society by stimulating the economy, creating wealth for shareholders and jobs for employees, and constantly innovating to meet society’s needs. At the other end of the CSR spectrum are those who feel that it is the moral obligation of corporations to solve the worlds’ most pressing problems, ranging from global warming to poverty to HIV / AIDS. The three short cases look at the CSR programs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline and Philip Morris / Altria Group Inc. and try to give a perspective on the different approaches towards corporate responsibility adopted by these companies to serve the society.
SOM, A. et CHATURVEDI, R. (2009). CSR: strategies to develop markets. ESSEC Business School.