Debating the Responsibility of Capitalism in Historical and Global Perspective

44 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2013  

Geoffrey Gareth Jones

Harvard University - General Management Unit

Date Written: July 8, 2013

Abstract

This working paper examines the evolution of concepts of the responsibility of business in a historical and global perspective. It shows that from the nineteenth century American, European, Japanese, Indian and other business leaders discussed the responsibilities of business beyond making profits, although until recently such views have not been mainstream. There was also a wide variation concerning the nature of this responsibility. This paper argues that four factors drove such beliefs; spirituality, self-interest; fears of government intervention; and the belief that governments were incapable of addressing major social issues.

Suggested Citation

Jones, Geoffrey Gareth, Debating the Responsibility of Capitalism in Historical and Global Perspective (July 8, 2013). Harvard Business School General Management Unit Working Paper No. 14-004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2291145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2291145

Geoffrey Gareth Jones (Contact Author)

Harvard University - General Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

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