In March 1991, the Business Enterprise Trust presented its first annual awards for acts of "courage, integrity and social vision" in business. The stated purpose of the awards is to honor those "who know there's more to good business than next year's bottom line." Predictably, an effort designed to "shine a spotlight on courageous and principled acts of business responsibility" would be met with skepticism by some members of the business community. And, even before the award winners were announced, Fortune cynically questioned the motives not only of the Trust but, by extension, of all business executives who claim to do good. This article explores both the validity of the Trust's efforts to reward business "virtue" and the arguments of those who claim that doing good is bad business.
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