Social responsibilities lay in business framework
Most people think of business simply as a way to generate money. While this may be a primary motivating factor for some, it also carries many underlain responsibilities. Business owners become part of the infrastructure of the community. They supply a service or product which fills a need of the community.
The common bond linking community and business lies in each others realization of shared assumptions. Business realizes they fill a need, desire or fixation of the community and the community realizes who their contributor is. While community can survive without business, business on the other hand cannot exist without community. No community is self sufficient and no business is customer free.
Business must develop social programs and policies that can be seen as responsive to social expectations, but not necessarily limited to socially demand. A firm having social awareness is in tune to its customers requirements as well as its viewpoint.
There are three main driving forces between business and society:
1. The idealistic outlook: primarily relates to principles and social responsibility,
2. the institutional outlook: Its expression of social responsiveness
3. the organizational orientation: primarily relates to policies and management of social issues.
There are four Basic Models of Business Relationships
1. Humanitarian – adhere to principles of compassion and reinvesting into the community
2. Ethical – adhere to principles of honesty and decency
3. Legal – adhere to all laws and regulations
4. Economic adhere to making a profit.
While a certain responsibility lies in being a good corporate partner and citizen, the most fundamental business responsibility is that of economics. The primary reason for being in business is to make a profit. Business exist for generating revenue for the business and in so doing, provides revenue for its employees. All other business responsibilities are based or established upon economic assumptions which is the responsibility of the people in charge. Without this statement the prognosis of future success becomes nothing more that arguable considerations.
While plotting a course of action, businesses are expected to operate within the framework of societal law, thus carrying the burden of legal responsibility. Likewise, legal responsibility is restricted to the letter of the law, while the spirit of law is
reserved for ethical reasoning.
Next, businesses are expected to have an ethical responsibility which is defined as any and all activities or practices which are either expected or prohibited by society members even though they are not written into law. Ethical classifications are further separated from legal activities by use of negative definition: ethical responsibility relates to those social expectations and norms not yet codified into law. In the same line, philanthropic responsibility designates those areas of voluntary social involvement not specifically
prohibited or demanded of companies because of their economic, legal, and ethical responsibilities.
Business also carry as a philanthropic obligation to contribute to its community. This responsibility is discretionary in nature and seen as an investment in future growth. Even though this is not a requirement it is a necessary and sufficient obligation that socially expects from responsible businesses.
If the economic role of the business is reduced to the narrow emphasis of profit it then could become blinded to making of contributed economics. This posturing leaves out the need for community relations.
There is another scenario to consider which is in contrast to the ordinary view, the so-called separation thesis. This is when businesses focus either on profits or social
concerns but not on both. This rises a question of debate that businesses can not only be profitable and ethical, but they should fulfill these obligations simultaneously. Can a business be profitable and disconnected from community? In todays world, franchising brings business into a community while being completely detached from community needs.
The clear-cut separation of business from community raises the problem of coexisting within a harmonious environment. Even though a business may appear to be separated the burden of responsibilities still apply. The business provides a tax revenue as well as product, service and employment. There are interwoven responsibilities which represent the stimulus for economic considerations.
The social pressures imposed on todays business are decreasing in importance, whereas economic and legal responsibilities are a requirement and ethical practices are vaguely expected, charitable contributions although desired, are completely voluntary.
A good business citizen, while striving to fulfill all its responsibilities, will actually apply
the necessary priorities to secure its status in the community.
Businesses have a responsibility that goes well beyond the demands of law and common morality. They set as examples of good moral judgment and community responsibility.