Name Institution Instructor Course Date Milton Friedman and Edward Freeman According to Milton Friedman, increasing profitability is the business’ social responsibility. On the other hand, Edward Freeman argues that businesses should resolve to care about their consumers and workers…
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Its responsibilities of providing employment, avoiding pollution, and doing away with discrimination are crucial (Friedman). Friedman asserts that those businesspersons who talk this way preach pure socialism. As such, they are puppets using the intellectual forces to undermine the basis of a free society. In this paper, I will seek to develop arguments based on the thoughts of Milton Friedman and Edward Freeman and establish who is right among the two of them. Milton Friedman Can a business be socially responsible? With reference to the discussion and arguments brought forward by Milton Friedman, only notable people who believe that a business has social responsibilities due to their lack of rigor and analytical looseness. Further explanation indicates that, only people who can have social responsibilities, not businesses. Presumably, a corporation is an artificial person for who can have artificial responsibilities (Freeman 234). However, even in this vague sense, business as a whole, cannot have social responsibilities. Social responsibility facet as a doctrine comes due to sharp relief when trade unions use the doctrine to justify wage restraint (Friedman). The conflict of interest appears naked in this context and clearer when there is a question to trade union officials to subordinate their member’s interests in order to pave way for a more general purpose. Therefore, as officials of the trade unions, they have a social responsibility towards the business, which is to make profits. Additionally, Friedman puts across a challenge when it comes to exercising the will of social responsibility. He expounds that, the hardship or difficulty of exercising social responsibility demonstrates, without a doubt, one of the greatest virtues of private competitive enterprise. Due to this difficulty, social responsibility forces people to take responsibility for their own actions, which in turn makes it difficult for everyone to exploit others for selfish and unselfish purposes (Freeman 236). This implies that, people can do well, but only for personal expense. Since discussion regarding social responsibility focuses much on corporations, most of arguments concern corporate executives or individual proprietors. In an enterprise that is free, a corporate executive, as an employee of a business owned by other people, has a responsibility to the business owners. With that respect, the main objective of the corporate executive is to carry out the business activities in accordance with the employers’ desires. Generally, this will mean that he has to make as much money as possible while upholding the basic rules of the society. The society embodies these rules into either the law or the ethical custom. Edward Freeman With regard to Freeman’s thesis, managers have a duty towards stakeholders following the concept that managers have a fiduciary relationship with the stakeholders. Stakeholders refer to those segments of people who have a claim or stake in the firm. In order to drive the point with specific intrigue, Freeman incorporates the role of the management as the agent of the stakeholders, employees, customers, local community and suppliers. Using these agents, Freeman argues that a business should care for consumers and employees (Friedman). Thus, every group of the firm’s stakeholders must receive equal treatment and participate fully in determining the future of the business as
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