Corporate Social Responsibility

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's October 2001

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Friedman painted an unrealistically extreme picture of what "social responsibility"� is. He portrays the social responsibility of corporations as something that should and will be done, regardless of the company's financial capabilities, or the will and benefit of the stakeholders.

Given that his view and arguments are based on extreme situations, I don't think that he is correct in concluding that corporate social responsibility is "taxation without representation"�. In his paper "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits"�, he gives the example of the business executive who prevents price increase to combat inflation, provides employment to the more needy, irregardless of the qualifications. He calls this "taxation without representation"� because the executive is imposing taxes on the stakeholders, and at the same time, deciding where to spend the money on. Then he goes on to say that "taxation without representation"� was the battlecry of the American Revolution.

Let us now review how his argument flows: business executive does something extremely good because of social responsibility à taxation without representation à battlecry of the American Revolution. Therefore, if the business executive prevents increase in prices, there is the possibility of a revolution. This argument is faulty, because business executives do not do extreme things like prevent increase in prices to combat inflation. They don't hire people based on their needs, but on their qualifications. But this isn't what social responsibility of business is.

In Friedman's line of thinking, with his arguments, the social responsibility of business is indeed taxation without representation, which is a concept truly "un-American"�, or "un-Filipino"�, for that matter. He is correct in this sense. However, I cannot, at any cost, support such an idea. Business is business, it's a rough world, full of tough competition. It's always the matter of honing your...

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