Summary and Critique of Friedman's Article on Social Reponsibility

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Alexkaini
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Article Critique

In his article, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits,” Milton Friedman asserts that businesses should devote themselves to the sole quest of optimizing earnings. Friedman’s entire hypothesis rests on a model where an executive decides the activities the company shall undertake alone. This model is possible, but unlikely since business activities ought to be designed by many stakeholder groups, other than the executives. (p. 211). This is because public relations is an effective tool for shaping the opinion of consumers regarding a corporation and structuring the image of the business.

However, in expressing his argument, Friedman relies on several logical fallacies that constitute abstract relations meant to stir the emotions of the reader. By creating a false society where income and collective good are mutually exclusive, social accountability compares to communism, and workers are separated from the society. Friedman’s narrow argument is devoid of scale and methodical firmness and fails to persuade the reader of its logical qualities. This commentary aims at clarifying the significance of corporate social responsibility and establishes how organizations can achieve their profit motives in a socially responsible manner.

First, Friedman pushes the reader to take his side by creating an abstract division amid profits and social accountability. In his view of a capitalist economy, the one and only responsibility of a corporation is to use its possessions and participate in actions aimed at increasing its profits. Business people can pursue a socially responsible course without the objectionable results claimed. Contrary to Friedman’s view, broad social responsibility that is common today requires businesses to interpret ethical norms more extensively than it features in Friedman’s assertion.…...

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