Milton Friedman's Essay Analysis of The Social Responsibility to Increase Profit

Milton Friedman's Essay Analysis of The Social Responsibility to Increase Profit

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In this essay we are taking a look at the famous Milton Friedman's essay "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profit ". The following paper is an attempt to critically evaluate the article in consideration of Freeman Stakeholder Theory.
First thing let us start with a little overview of what Milton Friedman exposed in his article. It seems that the whole point of his essay revolves around one basic statement which clearly says that the only social responsibility of business is to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long it stays within the rules of the game (Milton Friedman, the social responsibility of business is to increase profit).
We probably all agree that the primary objective of any business is to achieve revenue and attain a certain profit. But then here is the question that we might ask, is profit the only element that should be considered when making business decisions? In my point of view the answer is no as I will try to demonstrate throughout this paper. One quick alternative of what should be the first top priority of a business is creating a customer as Dr.Peter Drucker said. According to him “The customer is the foundation of a business and keeps it in existence. He alone gives employment. To supply the wants and needs of a consumer, society entrusts wealth-producing resources to the business enterprise.” (Santayana, George. Is The Tyranny Of Shareholder Value Finally Ending? )
So before we go in greater detail on the different perspectives related to social responsibility, one might question the meaning of social responsibility. It is generally agreed that social responsibility is defined as the business obligation to make decisions that benefit societ...


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...responsibility of generating profit and maximizing it, but then it should take into account the principle elements that are very crucial to its survival - stakeholders. For instance, if customers stopped buying product or investor withdrew their investment because of a greedy pursuit of profit. The future of an entire business collapses. In addition to this, maximizing the profit by just binding to the rules of the game is not enough since the rules of the game are not always fair, thus primary and secondary stakeholders should be considered while making money.

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Works Cited

Friedman, Milton. The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Profit. N.p
Santayana, George. Is The Tyranny Of Shareholder Value Finally Ending? N.p., n.d. Web. .

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