Gap, Inc. believes in community investment. On their “social responsibility” page they explain the mantra, “Be What’s Possible”. They focus community investment on under privileged children in the US and women in developing countries. It is clear, according to Gap, Inc. that those they aid in investing are not considered just investments but partners. They can say this truthfully because they do not just contribute cash, but innovation. Problem solving for the Gap involves solving social problems creating solutions worldwide. Gap, Inc. maintains this theory with what they term the “Virtuous Cycle”. The virtuous cycle delivers a collective benefit to the community, shareholders, employees, and consumers. Gap believes that is all can move forward, everyone wins and that is what they strive for in investing in the community.
I think Milton would have a problem with Gap’s thinking. He would most likely believe it is too unanimous and that social responsibility is not that easy. Milton would argue that community investment must in some way have a negative effect on at least one of the parties in the “virtuous cycle” Edward would most likely find that Gap has found a way to merge the Separation Thesis. In creating meaning for the employees and consumers, the Gap goes beyond the economics of business to create virtue and meaning to the work done and money spent.
With its community investments, Gap, Inc. seems to be a stakeholder manager. They provide aid beyond monetary value to partners worldwide and seem benefit all collectively in the process. While their model is a but optimistic, it is on the right path to creating higher stakes than just economic benefit.