Business vs. the Environment Essay

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Business vs. the Environment Business today has so many responsibilities. Aside from making a profit, they are forced to take on a different responsibility, one that involves the environment. Even though, they already have many regulations set by the government, they are still being asked to answer to the call of helping out the rest of society take of nature. This essay will discuss the pros and cons of corporate responsibility for the environment through the agent-of-society and agent-of-capital views. The agent-of-society view holds that corporate managers are prima facie obligated to consider the interests of everyone who is likely to be affected by what managers decide to do. With this view in mind, Michael Hoffman…show more content…
Their strategy “is to get businesses to help solve environmental problems by finding profitable or virtually costless ways for them to participate.” They want to find win-win situations so that businesses will want to help. The agent-of-capital view holds that corporate managers are prima facie obligated to be an agent to the shareholders and focus on the pursuit of corporate profits within the “rules of the game” established by law and capitalist market morality. Milton Friedman’s main theory is “the social responsibility of business is to produce goods and services and to make a profit for its shareholders, while playing within the rules of the market game; to engage in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” Friedman also makes a very good point. He says that “corporation is an artificial person and in this sense may have artificial responsibilities, but ‘business’ as a whole cannot be said to have responsibilities.” Therefore, business cannot have a social conscience. Even if there are “social responsibilities,” they are the responsibilities of the individuals, not the business. These corporate executives are also people in their own right who have their own “social responsibilities,” but they are acting within the scope of their employment so they have to think of the business and the fact that they are spending someone else’s money, namely the stockholders’, the employees’, and the
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