Workshop course

ASU Workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility

February 1, 2022

In a 1970 controversial editorialthe late American economist Milton Friedman said that “the corporate social responsibility is to increase profits.” Recently, this view has been attacked from all sides by politicians and business leaders. Prominent opponents of Friedman’s view argue that business leaders should weigh profits against the interests of various stakeholders.

Who is right ? Is making a profit the primary goal of a business? Or can business leaders help society further by seeking other apparent benefits?

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These questions will guide the “Reconsidering Corporate Social Responsibility” workshop from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, February 4.

“Reconsidering corporate social responsibility”

Workshop participants will explore issues raised in the debate on the role of business in society and practice discussing contentious issues in the context of civil dialogue and shared inquiry.

“The goal of the workshop is to invite participants to examine mainstream viewpoints and move beyond biases for a more nuanced understanding,” said workshop leader Andrew Humphries, a postdoctoral fellow at Arizona State University. School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. “Students may never have considered how profits drive corporations to make socially desirable decisions. Many assume that conscious charity is the only way to advance human well-being. But it’s not obvious that conscious charity has no role to play in business either. The best mix? That’s what we have to understand.”

The program is limited to the first 15 registered students. Those who register will also receive a free copy of the book “Free to Choose” by Milton and Rose Friedman.

Interested students can rregister here.

The workshop is a collaboration between the TW Lewis Center for Personal Development and the Center for the Study of Economic Freedom as part of an effort to promote the new Certificate in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, an interdisciplinary certificate that broadens students’ perspectives on moral, economic, and political issues and provides them with conceptual tools to understand and address major issues in the world today. By integrating approaches from philosophy, politics and economics, the certificate provides a holistic understanding of these problems and possible solutions – excellent preparation for leadership in the public or private sectors.

Students pursuing the certificate develop analytical skills and learn useful concepts through a course in each of these disciplines, and have the opportunity to integrate them into both an introductory course and a capstone course. These courses complement students’ degrees and add value to their careers in public service, law, business, philanthropy, engineering, and journalism, among others.

Students interested in this workshop may also be interested in the upcoming Center for the Study of Economic Liberty conference reading group on “Conflict of Visions” by Thomas Sowell and “Honourable Business.” Apply here to participate in the reading group.

The certificate is a collaboration between four ASU units: the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studiesthe School of Politics and Global Studiesthe WP Carey School of Business Department of Economics and the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.