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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2012

Archie B. Carroll
Affiliation:
University of Georgia
Kenneth J. Lipartito
Affiliation:
Florida International University
James E. Post
Affiliation:
Boston University
Patricia H. Werhane
Affiliation:
DePaul University, Chicago
Kenneth E. Goodpaster
Affiliation:
Executive Editor
Kenneth E. Goodpaster
Affiliation:
University of St Thomas, Minnesota
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Summary

Preface

“Has there ever been a robust history of corporate responsibility – a platform for looking toward the social and economic future?”

“No, Harry,” I said, “I don’t think so, but I’ll confirm that for you if you like.”

“All right, and if you confirm it, would you consider actually doing such a history if I provide the resources and stay out of the way? It should be an objective, nonideological account of corporate responsibility. If business is going to be a driver for positive social change in the future, we have got to understand its past.”

“But Harry, I’m not a trained historian. I’m a philosopher.”

“Yes, I know,” he said, “but I would like you to consider taking this on nonetheless!”

A question, some reluctance, then persistence, acceptance, enthusiasm. This was the genesis in 2004 of the project that has led to this volume. It was born of the determination of a successful, tough-minded business leader and the eventual passion of a practical philosopher.

“Harry” was Harry Halloran, a Philadelphia entrepreneur whose philanthropic foundation gave a major gift to the University of St. Thomas in 2007 to make the history project possible.

The moment of acceptance, however, raised a bundle of questions:

The history of what?

  • Was it to be a history of business or corporate behavior?

  • Was it to be the history of an idea — “corporate responsibility”?

  • Would it also be a history of certain academic disciplines?

  • Was it to be a world history or an American history?

Type
Chapter
Information
Corporate Responsibility
The American Experience
, pp. xvi - xxii
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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