Genius Becomes Rare: A Comment on the Doctrine of Social Responsibility, Pt. II

by Dow Votaw



Were people to accept the idea that the new social responsibility is little more than a temporary reaction to the social and economic problems of the moment, people would still be faced with the important task of evaluating its implications. Some of the implications to be examined, like certain structural and organizational changes, are the direct offshoots of concepts of social responsibility; others, like changes in the system of privilege, while still related to social responsibility, are more immediately the product of the underlying forces. As social responsibility provides better communication between the economy and the society, changing goals and attitudes in the society at large will more quickly manifest themselves in the corporation and its conduct. Appearing already are changing perceptions of the relationship between material progress and the quality of life, changing criteria by which even the leaders of business want to be known, and different views of the role of self-interest and profit in the motivations of those engaged in business. Perhaps not as far advanced in the explicit level are the perceptions of the changing relationship between the business and government subsystems, but these will come as the phenomenon of social responsibility is more widely accepted and better understood and as it comes to play a greater and greater role in the decision process.

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