In conclusion, it is quite clear that it is not enough for companies such as Microsoft to cater to the needs of only those who have staked their capital. The company’s and its Chief Executive’s responsibilities have now been extended to include upkeep of ethical standards of operations. In light of these changing expectations, not only have newer legislations been enacted but some companies have also voluntarily adopted ethical standards for their operations. Yet, one should exercise caution in reading these apparently positive developments. These days “environmental stewardship” and “corporate social responsibility” have become catch phrases in the business world (Fisher, 2006). This is an acknowledgement of the fact that consumers (who are part of a larger public) nowadays expect high ethical standards from corporations. Partly to cater to this demand and partly to indulge in a Public Relations exercise, some multinational corporations in the UK have over the last few years issued reports covering these concepts. But these reports have to be read by keeping in mind the motivation behind all corporate action – “Boosting the Bottom-line”. The statements emerging from the public relations officers for Microsoft should also be read in this backdrop.
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