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There is sometimes, but not always, a conflict between these two types of decision.
Often, doing the socially responsible thing is not as profitable. A firm may, for example, decide to provide its workers with health insurance since that would be the action that would be best for society. At the same time, however, that action could incur significant costs on the firm, causing it to be less profitable.
However, there are times when decisions can be both socially responsible and profitable. For example, when Wal-Mart cuts down on the amount of packaging on its products, it is being socially responsible. However, it may also be improving its profits because of the fact that smaller packages cut down on shipping and storage costs.
Thus, these two types of decision-making are sometimes, but not necessarily, in conflict.
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