From Paternalism to Managerialism: Entreprises Seeking Social Responsibility

By Henri Jorda


This article compares two attempts at setting up enterprises as socially responsible organizations. The paternalism of the end of the 19th century showed the firm’s owner as a father to his employees. Today’s managerialism presents managers as citizens acting as administrators on behalf of the stakeholders. These two systems aim to harmonize common interest across social classes, bring happiness to employees, and self-regulate organizations. Corporate social responsibility marks a new threshold in organizational power not only in the management of human resources but also in the relationship between the organization and society. It also marks a change in the faith of the founders of enterprises: religious yesterday religious, administrative today. JEL: P12, L21, L23, L53


  • paternalism
  • enterprise
  • manager
  • social responsibility
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