It is generally believed that businesses have a social responsibility towards the communities within which they operate. However, in his article “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, 1970,” Friedman disputes the notion that businesses have responsibilities. The author claims that responsibilities are only for people and that individual proprietors, unlike the corporate executives, are positioned to execute social responsibilities.
I agree with Friedman’s stance that businesses do not have social responsibilities but people have. Unlike people, businesses lack the capacity to execute tasks. It is upon the people in charge of the business, rather than the enterprise itself, to accomplish responsibilities according to their desires because the business is just a platform that facilitates accomplishment of responsibilities. Secondly, I agree with the author’s arguments that a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business in a free enterprise, as well as private-property organization. He or she works for a pay, on behalf of the business owners by overseeing the organizations operations. The executives work to ensure that the owners’ interests of profit making are attained accordingly.
I disagree with the author’s argument that corporate executives are not positioned to conduct social responsibilities in the line of duty. Corporate executives, just like individual proprietors, can execute social responsibilities in their capacities as businessmen. the corporate executive cannot represent the desires of the business owners without the knowledge of their interests thus they are fully informed of their responsibilities as agents. Additionally, the executives seek approval from the owners of the business in the cause of major decision making. Therefore, in the case of social responsibilities, the corporate executive obtains the consent of the owners before initiating the process of executing social responsibilities. It is through the executive that the owners can attain their social responsibility goals.
The corporate executives have the ability to conduct social responsibilities in the same way the individual proprietors do. They receive an approval from the business owners to proceed with the accomplishment of social responsibilities. On the other hand, businesses lack the ability to conduct responsibilities. Instead, they are used by people as platforms to execute social responsibilities. Finally, the corporate executives are employees of the business owners. They work for pay by representing the desires of the business owners.
Friedman, Milton. “The Social Responsibility of Business Is To Increase Its Profits.” The New York Times Magazine. 1970. Print.