Social Responsibly of Business Argument
PHI 103: Informal Logic
November 3, 2014
In Milton Friedman’s article, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits”, published in The New York Time Magazine back in 1970 Friedman proposes the argument that a corporations social responsibility is to increase profits. “Milton Friedman’s article entitled The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profit is one of the most often used counter arguments for people who would eschew the idea that a corporation should consider more than just shareholders.” (College of Law) While creating a very debatable argument Friedman has opened my eyes to a topic ...view middle of the document...
While Friedman’s argument can be very useful and has some well though points it is hard for me to agree with such tactics. One of which being the conclusion he stated in both The New York Times and his book Capitalism and Freedom, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”.(Friedman) It is a very reasonable argument that profit should be the large priority of a corporation but my concern or question is, is it not possible to exercise social responsibility and still obtain optimal profits?
I would like to propose a counter argument that it very possible to do both and by doing so it would leave the shareholders and the customers as well both pleased and satisfied. If a corporation’s social responsibility is strictly profit then the image of that company portrayed would not be one of goodwill. Of course profit is a very important factor but the tactics used to obtain these profits can make or break a corporation. One particular conflict that arises with Friedman’s argument is that different geographical regions of companies require different sales tactics. Although a tactics used to increase profits in one region may work there it could destroy another regions profit if implemented.
I am a firm believer in customer relations and quite often corporate can create difficult obstacles to build these relationships. I see things like this every day. I know in my particular line of work customers never forget when a company bends over backwards to help resolve a problem or issue. For example, my company has a rental fleet of portable air conditioners and a couple weeks ago a local schools air conditioner for a particular room went out. It just so happened that they had a very important meeting in that room the next evening and it created a very large and urgent problem for them. Although this school had not done much business with us at all we were eager to build this relationship with them. So I and another coworker delivered eight of these portable air conditioners to the school installed them and uninstalled them free of charge. While we could have made a few grand off of the rental units’ sale we decided that this was our chance to build a relationship and possibly open a door for future sales. In Friedman’s eyes this would have went against his argument that profit comes first. Yet not even a week later we began to see multiple purchase orders from this school well over the amount of renting out a few portable units. Not only were we able to provide for our community but in return we were able to build a new relationship that could...