Social Reform: A Young Person’s Viewpoint

by Jerrold Grochow



The article presents the author's comments on various facets of corporate social reform. The author says that to a young consumer, corporate social reform means corporate leadership in product labeling, in truthful advertising, and in reliable products. It means not having to read about lawsuits brought by government agencies against supposedly consumer-oriented corporations. It means not having to wonder what motivates a manager to hide the defect in his product or what principles he must be applying when he does so. For the consumer, it means trying to acknowledge the rules of corporate competition but not tolerating attempts to thwart its mechanisms by deception, concealment, or collusion. The establishment of a corporate ethic regarding the relationship of the consumer to the corporation is a part of corporate social reform. To a young shareholder, corporate social reform means the end of management efforts to stop stockholder groups asking for equal time on important issues of policy. It means not adhering to the argument that the only people who should own stock in a company are those who agree with management. It means being open to the fact that the shareholders are indeed the owners and may have very legitimate reasons for their interest in various corporate policies. Such enlightened attitudes on the part of corporate management are part of corporate social reform.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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