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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第2章 社会文化类 Unit 26

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2019年01月08日

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The idea that corporations bear a responsibility that stretches beyond their shareholders is not new.Many companies in the 19th century built special housing for their employees in the belief that a well-housed employee was more productive than one living in a dump.In the early years of the 20th century,Theodore Roosevelt,then president of the United States,said,“Corporations are indispensable instruments of our modern civilization; but I believe that they should be so supervised and so regulated that they shall act for the interests of the community as a whole.” He introduced antitrust legislation and rules on health and safety,and on working hours. 
In 1987,Adrian Cadbury,head of the Eponymous chocolate firm,wrote in Harvard Business Review: the possibility that ethical and commercial considerations will conflict has always faced those who run companies.It is not a new problem.The difference now is that a more widespread and critical interest is being taken in our decisions and in the ethical judgments which lie behind them. 
The debate then focused on how much of Roosevelt's supervision and regulation was needed to make sure that corporations act sufficiently in the interests of the wider community.Extreme free-marketers say all that is required to ensure the responsible behavior of corporations is transparency about their affairs.Corporations will then behave responsibly towards the wider community without any coercion because it is in their own best interests.“Being good”,said Anita Roddick,founder of an“ethical” cosmetics firm,The Body Shop,“is good business.” In the United States,the Better Business Bureau goes further and argues that unethical business is bad for business as a whole,not just for individual firms. 
The recent debate about corporate social responsibility(CSR)has focused on three main areas: 
● The environment.This has stretched way beyond the simple demand that companies stop belching smoke out of factory chimneys to a demand that they control their appetite for natural resources—for bits of Brazilian rain forest,for example,or for the skins of rare animals.The organized hostility to such behavior has forced companies to change.For example,suppliers frightened by the venom of the anti-fur lobby felt compelled to boast:“Make no mistake; all our furs are fake.” 
● Exploitation.The second strand is the exploitation of workers,especially of women in the developed world and of children in the developing world.There is a feeling that globalization has increased the power of multinationals to exploit the poor and underpaid,at the same time as it has weakened the influence of trade unions and other organizations designed to protect them. 
● Bribery and corruption.The third strand focuses on corruption,in particular on the question of what constitutes a bribe(when does generous corporate hospitality step over the line?),and what protections should be given to whistleblowers(employees or other insiders who report corporate misdeeds).Here there is a strong cultural element to confuse the issue.What constitutes bribery in western countries,for example,may not be considered such in regions such as the Middle East. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2004年真题Text 1。 
1.What was Theodore Roosevelt's view on corporate social responsibility(CSR)? 
A) He thought that corporations should be able to fulfill CSR for their own interests. 
B) He insisted that CSR meant all employees should be treated equally. 
C) He believed that the fulfillment of CSR must rely on government. 
D) He suspected that CSR would violate corporations’ own benefit. 
2.Which of the following is NOT an aspect relevant to CSR? 
A) Governmental regulation. 
B) Ethics. 
C) Transparency. 
D) Community responsibility. 
3.The expression“Being good”(Line 5,Paragraph 3)most probably means ______. 
A) producing quality products 
B) maintaining profitable business 
C) being conscious of community 
D) being socially accountable 
4.The debate about CSR in the three main areas reveals that ______. 
A) companies’ environmental protection measures should focus on factory chimneys 
B) a better understanding of the best CSR practices requires a thorough comprehension of various cultures 
C) globalization is by nature against the promotion of CSR 
D) CSR makes it more difficult to bribe in a decent way 
5.What can we infer from the text? 
A) CSR is a recent concept,emerging from the 20th century. 
B) Theodore Roosevelt was the first US president who was concerned with CSR. 
C) CSR is not only beneficial to individual companies,but the entire business sphere. 
D) Trade unions are equally powerful in developed and developing countries. 

企业不只对股东负有责任,这一观念并不是最近才出现。19世纪,很多企业专门为员工提供了住房,他们认为,比起居住条件简陋的员工,居住条件好的员工生产效率更高。20世纪初期,时任美国总统的西奥多·罗斯福就说:“企业是现代文明进程中不可或缺的工具,但是我认为必须对其加以监管,使其为整个社会的利益服务。”罗斯福在位期间颁布了“反托拉斯法”,以及一系列关于健康、安全、工时等的法规。 
1987年,吉百利巧克力公司的董事长阿德里安·卡德伯里在《哈佛商业评论》中写道:道德和商业决策之间会存在冲突是公司经营者一直面临的问题。这并不是一个新问题,如今的不同在于,每个决策及其背后的道德评判都触及了更广、更重要的利益。 
人们争论的焦点在于,要确保企业充分地为整个社会谋利,罗斯福所提出的监管有多大必要。极端自由市场主义者认为,要保证企业承担责任,只需将其各项事务透明公开。这样一来,不需要任何强制措施,公司就会主动承担社会责任,因为这样做符合公司自身的利益。英国化妆品公司“美体小铺”是一家“道德水平高的”公司,其创始人安妮塔·罗迪克说:“做善事的企业,才是好的企业。”美国的商业促进局更进一步表示,个别缺乏社会责任感的企业不仅会影响企业自身的声誉,还会累及整个行业。 
近期对企业社会责任的争论主要集中在以下三方面: 
一、环境。这不仅仅是要求企业停止用烟囱排烟,还要求它们控制其对自然资源的掠夺,例如巴西的热带雨林,或者稀有动物的皮。有组织的抗争活动已迫使相关企业做出改变。例如,慑于反皮毛游说组织的攻击,一些供应商不得不声称:“不要搞错,我们所有的皮毛都是仿制品。” 
二、剥削行为。第二方面是企业对工人的剥削,尤其是在发达国家对女性员工的剥削,和在发展中国家对童工的剥削。人们觉得全球化助长了跨国公司剥削穷困工人的势力,同时也削弱了工会和其他为保护员工权益而设立的组织的影响力。 
三、贿赂和腐败。第三方面是腐败问题,尤其是如何定义腐败(企业各种慷慨接待的底线在哪),以及怎样保护举报者(举报公司不当行为的内部员工或其他知情者)。文化因素使这些问题更加复杂。例如,在西方国家被认定为贿赂的行为在中东地区或许是合情合理的。 
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