Rresearch Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility

Topics: Social responsibility, Business, Corporate social responsibility Pages: 9 (2497 words) Published: August 30, 2011
Corporate Social Responsibility

Ronald Bellamy

MBA 6001-10F-S5A11-S3

Professor: Dr. Marie Gould

June 18, 2011

In a 1970 Times Magazine article, economist Milton Friedman argued that businesses’ sole purpose is to generate profit for shareholders. Friedman maintained that companies that chose to adopt “responsible” attitudes would be faced with more binding constraints than companies that did not take a socially responsible position, rendering them less competitive. Unfortunately, not everyone accepted Friedman’s view on social responsibility. In 1979, Quaker Oats president, Kenneth Mason stated, “Friedman’s profits-are-everything philosophy are a dreary and demeaning view of the role of business and business leaders in our society. Making a profit is no more the purpose of a corporation than getting enough to eat is the purpose of life. Getting enough to eat is a requirement of life; life’s purpose…likewise with business and profit (Makower, 2006).” The purpose of this paper is to weigh the pros and cons of social responsibility in today’s global economy.

Corporate Responsibility Defined

Corporate Responsibility is a manager’s or corporation’s duty or obligation to make decisions that nurture, protect, enhance, and promote the welfare and well-being of stakeholders and society as a whole (Jones, G., 2010, pg. 200). Stakeholders are important in reference to corporate social responsibility because stakeholders are people who have an interest, claim, or stake in an organization, in what it does, and how well it performs. It can easily be said that social responsibility is the “do the right thing” of business. There are four different approaches that corporations can take in reference to social responsibility:

- Obstructionist Approach where managers choose not to behave in a socially responsible manner. As a result, they behave unethically and illegally and do everything in their ability to prevent outsiders and stakeholders and other organizations from finding out about their behavior (Jones, G., 2010). Prior to the enforcement by the Surgeon General of the United States, cigarettes manufacturers, i.e., Philip Morris, took an obstructionist approach. Cigarette manufacturers had full knowledge that the nicotine in cigarettes was harmful to the lungs and refrained from informing the public.

- Defensive approach is when managers and corporations have at least a commitment to ethical behavior. When managers take a defensive approach to social responsibility, they ensure that they abide by all laws; but, they make not attempt to exercise social responsibility beyond they legal requirements. In the defensive approach managers also ensure that their employees behave ethically and do not harm others. Yet, these same managers always put the claims and interest of the stakeholders first—even if it is at the expense of other stakeholders (Jones, G., 2010, pg. 201). Again, the cigarette manufacturers are a good example of taking a defensive approach. After it was mandated that the public be warned (legal requirement), the cigarette manufacturers placed the following warning: Warning: smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy. The manufacturers at this point had met the legal requirement; but, absolutely did nothing else, i.e., setting up a fund for patients with lung cancer or funding programs to prevent teen smoking.

- Accommodative approach is basically the acknowledgement of the need to support social responsibility. Managers using this approach realize that the organization should act in a socially responsible manner and should behave legally and ethically. The accommodative manager does his best to balance the interest of different stakeholders against one another in order to insure the claims of stakeholders and seen in relation to the claims of other stakeholders (Jones, G., 2011, pg. 202). In these...

Cited: Atkins, Betsy (2006). Is Corporate Social Responsibility Responsible?. Forbes., retrieved from
web May 17, 2011 from https://forbes.com/2006/11/06/leadership-philanthropy.
Friedman, Milton (1970). The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits., The New
York Times Magazine., The New York Times Company
Mackey, John ((2005). Rethinking the Social Responsibility of Business., Reason Magazine.,
retrieved from web May 15, 2011 from
Makower, Joel (2006). Milton Friedman and the Social Responsibility of Business., retrieved
from web on May 17, 2011 from http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/005373.html
Schermerhorn, Jr., John R. (2005). Management, 8th Edition: Valparaiso, In., John
Wiley & Sons, Inv.
Seattle Times (1992). A Crush on 1696 New Cars., retrieved from web on May 29, 2011 from
Hizan (2010). 5 Socially Responsible Companies: Penn Olson Asian Tech., retrieved from web
From www.penn_olson.com/2010/08/03/socially-responsible-companies.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Corporate Social Responsibility Paper 2
  • The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility Research Paper
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Essay
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Essay
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Essay
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Essay
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free