IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Profts and principles: Four perspectives


  • Graafland, J.J.


This article clarifies the relationship between profits and principles by distinguishing four alternative perspectives: the win-win perspective in which ethical behaviour generates the highest profits; a licence-to-operate perspective in which a minimum ethical performance is required to receive legitimation from the society; an acceptable profits perspective, in which an acceptable profitability is required to assure the financial continuity; and an integrated perspective. These four perspectives are illustrated by statements from Shell reports and from interviews with managers of a large European retail company.

Suggested Citation

  • Graafland, J.J., 2001. "Profts and principles: Four perspectives," MPRA Paper 21134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21134

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Judith F. Posnikoff, 1997. "Disinvestment From South Africa: They Did Well By Doing Good," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(1), pages 76-86, January.
    2. Catherine M. Paul & Donald Siegel, 2006. "Corporate social responsibility and economic performance," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 207-211, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. J.J. Graafland & H. Smid, 2004. "Reputation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Market Regulation," Review of Business and Economic Literature, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Review of Business and Economic Literature, vol. 0(2), pages 271-308.
    2. Paul Bierly & Robert Kolodinsky & Brian Charette, 2009. "Understanding the Complex Relationship Between Creativity and Ethical Ideologies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 101-112, April.
    3. Graafland, J.J., 2002. "Modelling the trade-off between profits and principles," MPRA Paper 20752, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Graafland, J.J. & Ven van de, B. & Stoffele, N., 2003. "Strategies and instruments for organising CSR by small and large businesses in the Netherlands," MPRA Paper 20754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gerrit de Wit & Lorraine Uhlaner & Marta Berent-Braun & Ronald Jeurissen, 2011. "Beyond Size: Predicting engagement in environmental management practices of Dutch SMEs," Scales Research Reports H201118, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    6. Graafland, J.J., 2003. "Distribution of responsibility, ability and competition," MPRA Paper 20731, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Profits; ethics; Shell reports; sustainability; triple P bottom line; win-win situation; licence to operate;

    JEL classification:

    • D69 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Other
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21134. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.