What Are the Social Responsibilities of Business?

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For a business to be socially responsible it means that the business is conscious of the environment in which it operates. The environmental conditions that influence the activities of a business define the society that the business is indebted to. Therefore, social responsibility is a way of giving back and in so doing businesses aim at improving the welfare of the society in general. Businesses exist for the sole purpose of making profits and creating wealth for the owners. But for them to return profits, they must provide goods and services. The provision of goods and services is its self a form of responsibility. Once they make profits, business must pay taxes which the government uses to provide essential services to the society at large. This setup does not exonerate businesses from voluntary corporate social responsibility. They should go further and serve the society because it allows them to use scarce resources. Social responsibility is all about being ethical. Businesses should view the society as the host of the factors of production, the source of profits and as shareholders to the scarce resources. Some of the reasons why businesses are indebted to the society include the fact that they are part of the society's problems. Secondly they have a moral duty to help. As an entity, a business should mind the welfare of everyone in society. Thirdly, businesses expect that they will continue operating in the society in future. This calls on them to protect the host society. Fourthly, business contribute to social ills in many way and so they must act to correct them where possible and finally, social responsibility improves the image of the business and endears it to the society even more. The stakeholders in the society include the consumers, the workers, shareholders, local authorities and the general public. Ways that a business can give back to these groups of stakeholders include: Give preference to the immediate public when it comes to hiring. This...
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