Friedman vs. Drucker

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Applied ethics Pages: 4 (1187 words) Published: January 11, 2012
Business and Society Relationship
Friedman v.s. Drucker
Compare and contrast the two approaches to business ethics.
After review of the two articles, there are some notable differences between Milton Friedman and Peter Drucker’s approach to business ethics. Friedman’s main point is the primary responsibility of a business is to its stockholders and increasing its profits. Moreover, Friedman (1970) indicated that there are both ethical and legal limitations on business operation, underscoring that the business should not deplete from its resources and/or customers. Drucker’s approach focuses on the ethics of prudence and the ethics of self-development from the times of Aristotle to Confucius respectively to modern business ethics. In view of both principles, the leaders don’t have to be in a functional leadership role to lead within the organization. This person(s) should lead by example, demonstrating ethical behavior and striving to avoid wrong behavior. However, it is incumbent upon managers to have an environment that allows for such performance along with “choosing the values for its employees.” (Drucker, 1981). In the practice of the ethics of interdependence, it covers both ethical and unethical behavior. The ethical behavior in business relationships works for the good of all individuals and place everyone in balance. In unethical behavior comes as a result of the misuse of power in business relationships, which ultimately this type of behavior will lead to problematic and unbalanced working relationships. Drucker uses the example of sexual harassment.

In modern ethics, employees and the society as a whole relies on the employer for their jobs and opportunity for success, so good ethics and effectiveness is just as equally important, explains Drucker (1981). Therefore, there must be an establishment of the working relationships, and the policies and procedures specifically for behavior as it applies to everyone no matter what the...

References: Friedman, M. (1970, September). The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.
The New York Times Magazine. New York, N.Y. 32, 33, 122-124, 126.  
Drucker, P. ( 1981, Spring). What is “Business Ethics”? The Public Interest, 63, 18-36.
Carroll, A. B. & Buchholtz, A.K. (2009). Business & Society: Ethics and Stakeholder
Management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
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