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Social Responsibility - Profit and Ethics - Essay Example

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SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY-PROFIT AND ETHICS (Author’s name) (Institutional Affiliation) Abstract Businesses engaged in the service of society have often been often blamed for pursuing profit making at the expense of social responsibility. To this end, debate has always been centered on whether profit making are mutually compatible with ethical responsibility…
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Social Responsibility - Profit and Ethics

Download file to see previous pages... To this end, the notion of resolving business and social responsibility has been regarded as impossible. This notion has been fuelled by personalities such as Friedman who argue that the social responsibility of business lies in the maximization of profits so long as it is within the precincts of the rules of engagement (Friedman, 1970). To this end, Friedman argues that the decision concerning the social responsibility of business should be validated based on agreement with all the affected parties. In this case, Freidman asserts that business managers have an ethical obligation to act in the best interest of their employees and stockholders (Friedman, 1970). Consequently, if businesses managers conduct socially responsible policies, they are acting against the stakeholders’ best interest by forcing them into financing a foreign project. To this effect, it is true to some extent that the mandate of most for-profit companies is to generate maximum profit for their stakeholders. However, this notion is equally a stereotype that implies ethics and profits are untenable in any business set up. On the contrary, companies that solely pursue profits at the expense of profits, eventually collapse in the long term. As a testament to this, Friedman equally contends that profit making by companies should be founded on some ethical restrictions. Consequently, Friedman asserts that in exercising freedom, individual businesses, should take into consideration the harm or involuntary costs that they force on others. To this end, Friedman outlines four restrictions that should govern the pursuit of profit. These include; adherence to ethical norms, avoidance of fraud or deception, adherence to the law, and engagement in open and free competition (Friedman, 1970). Consequently, social responsibility involves the pursuit of profit making interests with due consideration of others freedom. At this juncture, the premise for advancing the notion that ethical responsibilities can be pursued in tandem with profit making is logically relevant. To this end, the foundations of the case involving the dispute between UK dairy farmers and large supermarkets and processors will aid in supporting the thesis. Case Background The background of the case concerning the UK dairy farmers, the retail supermarkets and processors revolves around the price cuts of the milk produce. According to the Guardian News, the prices for farmers’ milk have stagnated over the last 15 years since 1997 (Gray, 2012). This has been despite the fact that animal feeds have doubled in costs. However, the farmers ‘farm gate’ price of milk has been cut from 30p a litre to 25p (Collinson, 2012). To this end, the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers has expressed fears that many farmers will be driven into bankruptcy. The farmers have placed blame on the milk processors such as Dairy Crest, Robert Wiseman and Arla (Gray, 2012). However, the processors on their part blame the leading supermarket chains for their cut throat bargaining on the milk price. To this end, the supermarket retailers are blamed for sparking off price wars by manipulating the processors against each other. Consequently, it led to decrease of the milk prices. Financial variables indicated that processors decreased the price of milk to around 25p a litre for the farmers (Gray, 2012). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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