Freeman vs Friedman

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Edward Freeman’s “Managing for stakeholders” was an interesting selection which clearly defined several possible stakeholders for a business, primary and secondary, and how important each one is to the survival of the business as is the survival of the business to their survival. Customers, bankers, financiers, employees, and suppliers are all stakeholders. The selection stressed how important it was for the executive of a given corporation to have the skill set to manage the relationship between the stakeholders and the corporation to create value for all over time. My personal reaction to the article was a positive one in the sense that it was a clear message and made sense. However, I feel the article was repetitive and a little too drawn out. I realize the importance of the examples and the different perspectives of managing stakeholders and putting yourself in their position. I learned a lot from this article, but it became tedious in the last seven pages.

Milton Friedman’s article went into grave detail the social responsibilities of an individual vs. the social responsibilities of a business. He also explained the duties of the businessman: legislator, executive, and the jurist. He couldn’t understand how some businessman could be so “clear headed” regarding matters internal to their business but so “muddle headed” in matters outside their business in matters critical to their business’s survival. According to Friedman, there is one social responsibility for a business “engage in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” My personal reaction to this article was that it was very difficult to read and comprehend. I had to reread the article and several sections of it several times to figure out what Friedman was trying to convey. I agree with Friedman’s one social responsibility for a business. However, when compared to Freeman’s article, his message was much clearer and defined better than Friedman’s....
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