Articleresponse: Necessary but not sufficient by P. Soyka.
"…thelegitimate role of business is to make money for its owners(shareholders) and the more the better" (Soyka, "Necessarybut Not Sufficient", p. 175).
Ido not agree with this view. I believe that businesses have aresponsibility to society of a social nature. One reason is thatCorporations are fictitious members of society created by law andgranted limited liability of individual shareholders. They thereforehave a responsibility to society as individual entities not connectedto their shareholders since they are ‘persons’ in a society. Assuch they owe society given that there are social costs incurred bythe society simply because of its existence. Thomas M. Jones of theUniversity of Washington in Seattle elucidates this by saying that“the corporation which acts in a responsible manner may simply bepaying society back for the social costs of doing business, costs forwhich the firms rarely receive an invoice” (Hood, 1998). This is tomean that businesses cause some inconveniences to society but theyare not charged by anyone for that. Acting in a responsible manner inwhatever way such as CSR, philanthropy or environmental conservationis paying back for the inconveniences caused.
Thesecond reason is that corporations as entities in their own right insociety are subject to society values, ethics and morals. This meansthat as members of the society they area responsibility towards thatsociety regardless of who owns them. They have to adhere to thevalues and moral standards of that society regardless of the moralorientation of the shareholders. In American society, giving andassisting one’s neighbor is highly regarded people who do notadhere to such are banished and ostracized. The same is expected ofall organizations operating in these societies. Failure to adhere tothe expected code of behavior such as being responsible in using theenvironment will result into these societies being banished and endup collapsing. To survive therefore, corporations have to buildsocial equity through community engagement, and CSR projects.
Hood,J. (1998). DoCorporations Have Social Responsibilities?Retrieved online on 20thNov
Sethui,S. (2008). Defining the concept of good corporate citizenship in thecontext of
globalization:a paradigm shift from corporate social responsibility to corporatesocial accountability. In Scherer, G. & Palazzo, G. (eds.).Handbookof Research on Global Corporate Citizenship.New York: Edward Elgar Publishing