Friedman’s perspective on corporate responsibilities You might wonder if corporate managers tend to agree or disagree with Milton Friedman’s perspective on accountability. Many managers do seem to agree with Friedman, given that they seem to prioritise financial performance and the rights of investors over and above other aspects of performance, and other stakeholders. But there are many managers who take a broader view of corporate responsibilities.
A broader view of corporate responsibility Managers who agree with Friedman’s narrow perspective on corporate responsibilities might not be in favour of collecting and disclosing information about social and environmental performance unless they felt that disclosure would ultimately lead to financial benefits that favour investors. Additionally, they would not be responsive to the concerns held by those stakeholders who do not have the power to influence the successful operations of an organisation. Managers with a broader view of organisational responsibilities and accountabilities, however, believe that they should provide information to stakeholders who are significantly impacted by an organisation’s operations, regardless of whether the respective stakeholders have any power. This perspective also requires managers to be responsive to the legitimate concerns of all stakeholders. These managers may more readily accept that if the evidence (as represented in various accounts) shows that an organisation has not performed in accordance with stakeholder expectations, then they have a responsibility to amend the organisation’s behaviour accordingly.
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