In quest of profits: Legal and ethical implications facing Microsoft

Mona R. El Shazly, Ryan J. Butts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Despite its wide acceptance in economics, the fundamental tenet of the theory of the firm is not without its critics. Questions related to the nature and role of the firm, its objectives, responsibilities and behavior have fueled much of the recent debate. Today, firms are being evaluated and scrutinized not merely on their economic performance, but also by the ethical standards they uphold. The case brought against Microsoft is an example of the tangled web that characterizes the economic, legal and ethical dimensions of business operations. This paper shows that as an economic entity, Microsoft employed strategies that were consistent with its long-run objective of profit maximization. In so doing, however, Microsoft violated anti-trust laws and was charged with illegal conduct. Despite the court ruling, economic and legal justifications continue to be a subject of debate amongst the different entities involved in this case. More so when ethical implications are considered, consensus becomes even harder to reach due to the subjective nature of the judgement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-355
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2002


  • Company performance
  • Ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Social Sciences(all)

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