Is it possible for companies both to maximize financial value and be socially responsible? Explain.

Expert Answers
kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most difficult concepts for any consumer or even any corporation to sincerely adopt is a long-term outlook and one based on continual profitability over that long term.  If one is to actually adhere to this outlook, social responsibility and profit go hand in hand.  But in the shorter run, it is extremely difficult to justify higher costs at the outset that will offset later costs.

Take power lines as an example.  It has been shown time and time again that burying power lines is significantly cheaper in the long run, also more environmentally friendly and even more visually appealing.  but the up-front cost is prohibitive so utility companies in the US have avoided doing so in all but the most highly-pressured situations.  The costs of repair after ice or snow storms or hurricanes, etc., are exorbitant but often subsidized by taxpayer monies, etc.

So long term profitability is available to socially responsible companies and individuals but that outlook is hard to find and sustain when shareholder pressure is almost always on the current and short-term bottom line.