Social Responsibility of a Business Is to Increase Profits

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The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profit
What is the social responsibility of a business? Is it to increase profits as American economist Milton Friedman argues? Is it to make decisions that benefit and protect society? According to the Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms, social responsibility is the “principle that businesses should actively contribute to the welfare of society and not only maximise profits”. In my view the statement ‘the social responsibility of business is to increase profit’ is true to an extent, however, I believe a corporation’s responsibilities extend beyond just maximising profits.
The ‘Narrow View’ argues that profit maximisation is the only objective for a business. Theodore Levitt wrote, “in the end business has only two responsibilities- to obey the elementary canons of face-to-face civility (honesty, good faith and so on) and to seek material gain” Levitt’s opinion could be perceived as realistic to an extent, however, I believe he doesn’t take into account the negative side-effects that business activities can have on society. Friedman strongly rejects any concept of corporate social responsibility that would deter a business’s primary goal of profit maximisation. Furthermore, he argues that only people can have responsibilities, not an artificial being such as a corporation. If an artificial being such as a business was to have responsibilities, however, than I would find it appropriate that it would be inclined to act in a way of the interest of the corporation, by increasing profits for workers and shareholders. However, a corporate executive with said “social responsibility” would be acting in some way that is not in the interest of employers, for example, refraining from increasing the price of products to prevent inflation, even though an increase in prices would be in the best interest of the…...

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