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Social responsibility in a company Essay

 The issue of social responsibility in a company and the essence of the same has been a borne of contention for quite a while now. Milton Friedman an economist and vocal critic of corporate social responsibility in his article The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits published in “The New York Magazine, 1970 claims that business men who claim of being social responsible are “preaching pure and unadulterated socialism”

He argues that only humans can have responsibilities and thus the role of a business is only “to make as much money as possible while conforming to the basic roles of the society” (Chadwick and Schroeder, 57). Friedman’s views are echoed by DeGeorge who characterizes Friedman’s position as that of “fundamentalism”. He argues that it can be seen through the so called “legal recognition” view which points out that a corporation is an “autonomous entry” that is owned and run by an individual or a group and rather it is not a creation of the society (Chadwick and Schroeder, 5).

The fact that an enterprise is not a creation of the society offers enough room for maneuver in that the enterprise will owe no special, moral or social responsibilities to the society. Friedman generally borrows his argument mainly on the principles of a free economic system in which an individual has a free will of making choices. This generally tends to tilt in the corporations direction since it can be argued that they are fully private entities which are basically designed to make profits.

Friedman however argues that the “doctrine of social responsibility” is a kind of envelop for action that may be justified on other grounds rather that “a reason for those actions” (Chadwick and Schroeder, 59). He goes further to say that an enterprise may provide amenities to a society for the long term interest of the enterprise. This as he puts it may give the company an advantage in attracting desirable employees, reduction of wages and other advantages that may come along.

Work Cited:

Chadwick, Ruth F. and Schroeder, Doris. Applied Ethics: Business and economics.

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London: Taylor & Francis, 2002

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