Discuss corporate social responsibility. Responsibility in business refers to a firm’s concern for the way its decisions affect society. A second theory says that the corporation should always pay attention to the interests of its stakeholders. These are management, customers, the local community, owners/ stockholders, suppliers, and employees. Social responsibility has four components: economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic. These are intertwined, yet the most fundamental is earning a profit. If a firm does not earn a profit, the other three responsibilities are moot. Most business-people believe they should do more than pursue profits. Although a company must consider its economic needs first, it must also operate within the law, do what is ethical and fair, and be a good corporate citizen. The concept of sustainability is that socially responsible companies will outperform their peers by focusing on the world’s social problems and viewing them as an opportunity to earn profits and help the world at the same time. Questions 4.1 Describe at least three situations in which you would not purchase the products of a firm even though it is very socially responsible. 4.2 A firm’s only responsibility to society is to earn a fair profit. Comment. 4.3 Is sustainability a viable concept for America’s businesses? 4.4 Illustrate how there can be conflicts between the needs and desires of various stakeholders.
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