I think Tom is correct.  A corporation exists for whatever reason.  It's 
purpose is to fulfill it's charter -- i.e., articles of incorporation. 
Examples would be nonprofit organizations (of which, I work for one). 
There are some nonprofit organizations I've seen and even dealt with where 
the corporation was nonprofit, but some of the individuals working there 
were after their own profit.  But that's a matter of ethics.

I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that legally the directors of a 
corporation can be held liable for the ethical decisions and actions of 
agents of the corporation.  Our society ought to teach and practice this, 
but it isn't always so.

Just my opinion.

Michael Quigley
AS/400 Programming Coordinator
The Way International
www.TheWay.org



----------------------------------------------------------------------
date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 19:56:31 -0400
from: qsrvbas@xxxxxxxxxxxx
subject: RE: RE: Programmer Liability

midrange-nontech-request@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

>   4. RE: Programmer Liability (Jones, John (US))
>
>The US has granted corporations the same basic rights as individuals.
>However, corporations do not operate on the "value system" (morals and
>ethics) that drive an individual's decision making.  Corporations exist
>solely to produce profit and generate wealth for their owners.  Thus,
>such decisions, while morally & ethically wrong, are sound from a
>business standpoint as they are designed to maximize profit.

There's much truth/fact in this. Likewise, there are balancing 
truths/facts in our system of civil justice where disputes can be settled 
under the morals and ethics of the jury -- at least until appeals remove 
jury decisions from the balance and turn it over to judges who may or may 
not reflect the same.

But that's the system we have and it's probably as good as we're going to 
get.

BTW, I don't know exactly why corporations "exist". I'm sure the profit 
motive is/was a primary factor for inventing them and bringing them into 
our society; I wouldn't dispute that. But it definitely is not the sole 
purpose. A corporation may have any purpose that its creators choose. 
Technically, AFAIK, a corporation's purpose is to fulfill the declarations 
within its charter. Beyond that, its purpose is whatever the creators have 
in mind, whether that's an open purpose or hidden. No?

Tom Liotta


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