“the Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Profit”

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Businesses have many responsibilities, the primary role being, to make profit and then in turn grow and expand as a business in the hope that they increase profits. After all, not many people want to be in the business of losing money, it is simply the function of a business ... to make money. However, in saying that, I would disagree in saying that this is entirely a “social” responsibility. Businesses have a responsibility to their stakeholders and/or their shareholders to increase profits, but socially they are required to do so much more.

In terms of “social” responsibility, in this current day and age, businesses have a responsibility to society. I believe consumers are generally not concerned about the profit businesses makes, they are more concerned about the quality, service and value they receive from dealing with a business, and more importantly whether the success of the business was gained by them following socially and ethically responsible business practices.

In the past, businesses would forfeit their social responsibility at the cost of increasing profit. A good example of this is multinational conglomerate, Proctor & Gamble, identified by PETA as a corporation that actively participates in animal testing1 to ensure that their products are safe for people to use. Yes, they are fulfilling their “social” responsibility in ensuring that their products do not harm their consumers, but now society and organisations are pointing the finger and actively boycotting companies such as Proctor & Gamble, for ignoring their social responsibility. Businesses have had to turn things around to adapt to the views of changing society. Being socially responsible is now a costly exercise. Due to their previous poor business ethics, they have to date invested almost $250 million in alternative testing methods in an effort to abolish all forms of animal testing.2 Not only now is it socially unacceptable to practice “bad” business ethics, but it is socially...
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