strategy+business is published by PwC Strategy& LLC.
or, sign in with:
strategy and business
 / Fall 2005 / Issue 40(originally published by Booz & Company)


Dirty and Clean Laundry

In the end, social responsibility reports are an attempt by large companies to take the high ground and persuade people that the harsh regulatory medicine prescribed by Joel Bakan is not necessary. Business leaders are certainly aware of how the recent scandals have undermined public confidence in corporations. They recognize that they have their company’s reputation to protect and markets to grow, in a way that requires being accountable to more stakeholders. And there may also be personal motives. As a friend of mine says, “It’s possible that Phil Knight and Jeffrey Immelt have decided that they don’t want to look in the mirror every morning and see Fastow or Eisner looking back at them.”

My own view is this: If General Electric can boycott Myanmar because of its human rights violations, then anything is possible.

Reprint No. 05310

Author Profile:

Milton Moskowitz ([email protected]) is senior editor of Business and Society Review and codeveloper of Fortune magazine’s annual survey of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” produced with Robert Levering and the Great Place to Work Institute. He is the author of seven books, including Everybody’s Business (Doubleday, 1990) and The Global Marketplace (Macmillan, 1987).
Follow Us 
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus YouTube RSS strategy+business Digital and Mobile products App Store


Corporate Behavior Resources: Works mentioned in this review

  1. Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (Free Press, 2004), 240 pages, $25.00
  2. Kurt Eichenwald, Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story (Broadway Books, 2005), 768 pages, $26.00
  3. Steven Lydenberg, Corporations and the Public Interest: Guiding the Invisible Hand (Berrett-Koehler, 2005), 200 pages, $27.95
  4. Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron (Portfolio, 2003), 464 pages, $26.95
  5. James B. Stewart, DisneyWar (Simon & Schuster, 2005), 592 pages, $29.95
  6. Great Place to Work Institute Inc.: Click here.
  7. 2005 GE Corporate Citizenship Report: Click here.
  8. Nike Corporate Responsibility Report FY ’04: Click here.
Sign up to receive s+b newsletters and get a FREE Strategy eBook

You will initially receive up to two newsletters/week. You can unsubscribe from any newsletter by using the link found in each newsletter.