Business Ethics: Organizational Governance and CSR

496 Words2 Pages
Business Ethics, Organizational Governance, and CSR
Living an ethical life rests upon an assumption of both identifying and acting upon the good. If humankind identifies the instrumental means to attain the ultimate good, then consistency and reason should motivate a responsibility to pursue the ethical end. Paralleling the desire for individual 'good', evaluating the aims and actions of business necessitates developing an organizational ethics system, otherwise the objective pursuit of profits appears as the only prima facie guide. However, in the context of morally questionable business activities and government deregulation, Milton Friedman's famous indictment of corporate social responsibility, that, "there is one and only one social responsibility of business to use its 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," emerges unconvincing, although logically consistent.
Friedman's singular focus on profits not only implies that all non-shareholders are merely instrumental, but fails to consider the balance of short and long-term strategy. While the simplistic profit motive is convincing in the abstract, this assumes that immediate gains embody contingencies for finite resources and organizational continuity. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) aims to transcend the linear transactional model to embrace a holistic
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