Classical free-market economic theory tells us that the only job of a company is to generate profits for its shareholders, and that market forces will ensure that this goal results in value generated for society.
On one hand, this view can easily be criticized as crude and reductionist – the greedy corporate executive pursuing profits at all cost is a cliché for a reason.
On the other, it’s hard to argue against this notion because the free market is quite clearly one of the main engines of the age of material prosperity we are living in.
A more recent wave of business and economic thought argues that
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