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8 - Beneficence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2022

Kevin Gibson
Affiliation:
Marquette University, Wisconsin
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Summary

Beneficence is the act of doing good, while benevolence is being willing to do good. Walmart is cited as a case where, despite its founder’s belief that businesses do sufficient good simply by fueling wealth through commerce and employment, the company is nevertheless highly involved in community projects. Corporate philanthropy may be used strategically to increase future profits, while many corporations see themselves as morally responsible for stakeholders – employees, communities, consumers, and the wider environment – without requiring a clear return on investment. Corporate intervention is discussed historically in terms of apartheid, where some companies applied pressure for social change whereas others felt firms should abide by local norms despite violating human rights. Corporate intervention in the political affairs of Central America are discussed, as well as businesses that supply biased educational materials. The final case describes the sponsorship of an artistic production that becomes politically embroiled and asks what an appropriate level of corporate involvement in the community should be.

Type
Chapter
Information
Ethics and Business
An Introduction
, pp. 224 - 244
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Beneficence
  • Kevin Gibson, Marquette University, Wisconsin
  • Book: Ethics and Business
  • Online publication: 22 December 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009099127.009
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  • Beneficence
  • Kevin Gibson, Marquette University, Wisconsin
  • Book: Ethics and Business
  • Online publication: 22 December 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009099127.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Beneficence
  • Kevin Gibson, Marquette University, Wisconsin
  • Book: Ethics and Business
  • Online publication: 22 December 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009099127.009
Available formats
×