Principals and Agents

José Salazar and Bryan W. Husted

in The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199211593
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191576997 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Principals and Agents

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Friedman's original critique of corporate social responsibility (CSR) remains one of the most important in the CSR literature. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Friedman provides an outline of a critique as he does not fully develop his arguments. In any case this article defines the requirements for a CSR, which is ethical because it does not renounce obligations to shareholding principals, as well as specifying the challenges of CSR given the nature of the principal-agent relationship. By following the logic inherent in Friedman's argument, this article highlights some of the very practical problems that need to be resolved in order to move the CSR agenda forward. This article identifies many of the challenges that CSR faces if it is to move beyond symbol to substance.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; shareholding principals; principal-agent relationship; Friedman's argument; CSR agenda

Article.  7709 words. 

Subjects: Business Strategy ; Business Ethics

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