Essay about Business and Social Responsibility

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The problem that was investigated consisted of a question that Milton Friedman posed in one of his articles, which was featured in The New York Times Magazine in 1970. The question was, “What does it mean to say that “business” has responsibilities” (Friedman, 2007, p. 173)? Friedman (1970) elaborated on how businesses cannot have assigned responsibilities. Furthermore, he described how groups or individuals should be the only ones that can hold responsibilities, not businesses. He stated that associating responsibilities with the word business is too ambiguous. I will examine three discussion questions and three compare and contrast questions which Jennings (2009) posed in a case study that is related to Friedman’s (1970) article …show more content…
Therefore, Friedman (1970) said the only way we can accurately answer the social responsibility question was to first question what does the question mean and to whom is the question directed.
The second discussion question posed was, “What is the role of a corporate executive selected by stockholders” (Jennings, 2009, p. 79)? The role of a corporate executive selected by stockholders is to be an agent “serving the interest of his principal” (Friedman, 2007, p. 175). For instance, Friedman (1970) described an agent as one who generally focuses on increasing company profits and executing tasks that will grow the company. Equally important, he mentioned that sometimes companies are established by people whose focus are eleemosynary services (like the Boys and Girls Club or Red Cross) and not for profit generation. Those companies would have a different role for their corporate executives in that the executives would focus on providing Good Samaritan based services.
The third discussion question posed was, “What analogy does Dr. Friedman draw between trade association wages and corporations’ decisions based on social responsibilities” (Jennings, 2009, p. 79)? Friedman (1970) discussed how social responsibilities are useful in mitigating wage restraint cases with trade associations. He explained

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