State of Corporate Citizenship Report: Business Perspectives in 2005

August 1, 2005

Release Date: 2005

The State of Corporate Citizenship in the U.S.: Business Perspectives in 2005 marks the second biennial survey of the attitudes, commitments, and experiences of executives in small, medium-sized, and large businesses toward corporate citizenship.

The first survey, conducted in 2003, found that executives see corporate citizenship as a fundamental part of business practice.

In 2005, the responses of the 1,189 executives surveyed from small, medium-sized, and large companies issued the same verdict. Executives tend to define a broad array of corporate citizenship attitudes and practices that include serving the interests of shareholders, employees, the environment, customers, and communities. The data in the 2005 survey show that companies are actively involved in public life, participating in a wide range of social issues. However, the data also suggests actions tend to lag behind expressed attitudes. 

"Milton Friedman, the elder statesman of “Chicago School” economics, has argued that social initiatives are 'fundamentally subversive' because they undermine the profit-seeking purpose of public companies. But most business leaders have charted a different course than Friedman would advise, and few would consider their approach subversive. The attitudes and actions of businesses — regardless of size, sector, or region — show that businesses play a wide-ranging role in our society."
 ~Barbara Dyer, Hitachi Foundation