Summarize the argument: The purpose of business is not necessarily just profit maximization, it can commit to the higher purpose of creating value for society.
The classical business theory assumes that the only purpose of business is to maximize profits. It further assumes that people are self-interested but that self-interest is actually beneficial to society.
Limited reasoning about the purpose of business has lead to all sorts of unethical business practices that have caused all kinds of human suffering and exploitation and given business a bad reputation.
With advances in communication, technologies society is increasingly holding business to account.
Business has responded by implementing various initiatives informed by ethical theories such as Codes of ethics (a bureaucratically implemented response), CSR, and stakeholder initiatives, as well as strategic philanthropy (post-bureaucratically aligned initiatives).
Codes of ethics are limited in their capacity to actually change behaviors. Window-dressing is another risk, where CSR and stakeholder rhetoric is only a communication tool and not a real objective.
To change corporations complex and critical ethical reasoning is required, as well as virtuous character, and a commitment to a higher purpose for business beyond profits.
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