Interpretation and analysis of the literature
Discuss about the Social Responsibility Of A Business Role Of Your Personal Values In Your Future Profession.
Milton Friedman claimed in his 1962 book, ‘Capitalism and Freedom’, that the primary responsibility of a business is to earn and increase the profit. The businesses must engage themselves in activities, which are designed in a way to increase their profits as long as they continue their operations as per the rules and regulations, that is, engaged in free and open competition without any deception (Friedman 2009). It is a shareholder approach towards social responsibility by Friedman. The shareholders are the group that a company is socially responsible to. Hence, it is considered that the primary goal of a business is to maximize its profits and return some portions of the earned profits to the shareholders in the form of rewards for taking the risk of investing their money in the business (Brammer, Jackson and Matten 2012).
According to Friedman, in a capitalist economy, an organization must not have any social responsibility other than earning maximum profits for itself and sharing those profits with the shareholders. The shareholders are the ones with social responsibility in their private capability. He also stated that when the organization becomes concerned about the community and environment rather than concentrating on making profits, then it results in totalitarianism (Melo and Garrido-Morgado 2012). Friedman said in his doctrine that, a company is treated as an artificial person and thus, like real individuals, it has responsibilities, but those are artificial responsibilities. Therefore, in real life, businesses do not have any real responsibility; however, the responsibility lays with the people associated with the business, that is, entrepreneurs, shareholders, stakeholders etc. Therefore, it is those people, who should fulfill those social responsibilities on behalf of the organization (Bosch-Badia, Montllor-Serrats and Tarrazon 2013).
When we talk about the responsibilities of the business people, we examine their roles in the organization. The directors have fiduciary responsibilities to act for the benefits of the shareholders, while the managers are the agents of them and hence, under moral obligation to act for their best interest, which is to get maximum return of their investments in the company. The shareholders are the real owners of the business and hence, they own the profits too. However, it does not mean that the managers and the directors would act unethically for the benefits of the shareholders. They should act fairly and make profits for the interests of the shareholders (Ferrero, Michael Hoffman and McNulty 2014). For example, when a business executive has the duty to refrain the increase in price of the products, he contributes to the social objective of controlling inflation although a price rise would be beneficial for the business. Or that, he needs to increase expenditures to cut down activities causing pollution for the benefit of the society and environment, but that would be of the best interest of the business. Or, he might need to hire unskilled labor to reduce poverty in the society instead of skilled labor to increase the productivity. In all of these activities, the professional would work for the benefit of the society; however that reduces the profit of the company, as well as the return of the shareholders (Hall and Lawson 2014).
The role of your personal values in your future profession
On the other hand, the stockholders and the business people can themselves spend their money for any social responsibility if they want to. A corporate person definitely has some responsibility of his own. Hence, he might decide to donate some of his money to any social purpose that he believes in. For example, a director of a company might believe in donating some money to the flood relief charity. It is his personal choice. However, only when he earns money from the company, he would be able to donate some. Similarly, a shareholder of a company might have similar interest for doing charity. When he earns returns of his investment in the company, he would decide whether to donate some for the social benefit or how much to donate. Therefore, it is described by Friedman that, the social responsibility is the discretion of the shareholders, and not of the businesses (Ferrero, Michael Hoffman and McNulty 2014).
Every human being has his own values, attitudes and beliefs that he develops throughout the course of his life. The background, culture, family, friends, social life, and all the experiences of a person help him develop the sense of who he is and how he sees the world. It is very important for a person to have a set of values to make progress in his life and at the same time, values motivate them to contribute something for the society. One can make such contribution to the community through his profession or voluntary services (Clewell and Aronson 2013).
Interpretation and analysis of the literature
Values are defined as the set of principles, qualities or standards that a person or a group consider in high regard. These are the guiding factors in our lives. Values direct us to live our lives in a morally respectful way and these also help us to take the decisions in life. Therefore, a value is defined as something that a person holds dear. It is a characteristic that is worth of following to live a better life and make the world better for others (Boer and Fischer 2013).
The basis of the formation of a value can be various things, such as a particular belief about something, related to any particular idea or nature or behavior. The values are also backed by the tradition or culture of society. For example, some people love animals and they love to work for protecting the animals. Again, some people believe in saving the forests, while some prefer deforestation for the benefit of their profession in real estate. Hence, the values are important for living life but the impacts of the values on the profession of a person are not always specific (Jamaludin et al. 2016).
Our values can influence the judgments that we make about anything in our lives. Hence, it can also influence the decisions we take in our professional lives. In the profession life, the factors such as, manners, behavior, attitude, clothes, everything reflects a certain value. Knowing the values properly can help us choosing the right career for us. Values help us in determining the priorities of life and that decides the course of actions to be taken. Values are the guiding force in our lives, which help us to take the decisions in both personal and professional lives that can lead to happiness and success (Zedler 2014).
In the context of future profession, experts say that, we must define our values before opting for any particular career. For example, if a person does not believe in altruism, he cannot prosper in his career if he chooses to work for a non-profit organization, which does volunteering work for the underprivileged people. Hence, choosing a profession according to a person’s values can be helpful in future. The values comprises of the things that we think and believe to be essential in our way of working and living life. The values also help us to understand if the happenings in our lives are part of our plans or unintentional (Wright, Zammuto and Liesch 2017).
We can only say that our life is going good when our values and our career path match. If there is conflict in the values and the work we are doing, then our quality of life is compromised. Hence, personal values play a very important role in our career decisions. This can be explained as follows. A profession is a correct one for a person, if that makes him happy and matches his values. Many people in our surroundings are driven by a very strong determination to search and find a meaning and objective of life, which is actually a materialization of the personal values. For example, an engineer working in a reputed company might feel the urge to do something beneficial for the society. For that, he might leave his job and work for a charity or donate a large amount of money to a charity (Fearon et al. 2016).
There are some professions, which are driven by personal values. Those can be explained as follows. The defense and military services of a country requires high passion towards the service of the country. Many people feel the strong sense of patriotism and believe that they could serve the country through this profession. Hence, they take this hard route to follow their heart and values and sacrifice many things by joining the military force.
The medical service is another such type of profession, which requires a strong sense of personal values. The doctors are considered to be next to God. The people, who pursue to profession of doctors, are very passionate about their work, and they sacrifice their own personal lives for serving the ailing people. Many doctors leave the comfort of city life to serve the poor people in the villages. Therefore, the values of serving the poor and ailing people and find a meaning of life drive the doctors to choose this profession.
Another very common example of personal value driven career is the social work. The social workers look for problems in the society and work towards solving them for the welfare of the entire society. These problems include environment, education, underprivileged sections of the society etc. People, who do social work, find their meaning of life in those works, and get satisfied that they are contributing something meaningful to the society (Kocet and Herlihy 2014).
Therefore, from the Friedman doctrine, it can be said that, the fundamental objective of the businesses in a capitalist economy should be to generate profit and keep on increasing that. The businesses do not need to perform any social responsibility, as those are the decisions of the business people and shareholders, who is benefitted from the profits earned (Friedman 2017).
Hence, it can be concluded that, personal values have a very influence on the future profession choices of people. If people can match their values with their career choices, then they feel happy, satisfied and they also give their best towards their job. This way they can find a meaning of their lives. Thus, it is very important to choose a profession depending on the personal values of people.
Boer, D. and Fischer, R., 2013. How and when do personal values guide our attitudes and sociality? Explaining cross-cultural variability in attitude–value linkages.
Bosch-Badia, M.T., Montllor-Serrats, J. and Tarrazon, M.A., 2013. Corporate social responsibility from Friedman to Porter and Kramer.
Brammer, S., Jackson, G. and Matten, D., 2012. Corporate social responsibility and institutional theory: New perspectives on private governance. Socio-economic review, 10(1), pp.3-28.
Clewell, A.F. and Aronson, J., 2013. Ecological restoration: principles, values, and structure of an emerging profession. Island Press.
Fearon, C., Nachmias, S., McLaughlin, H. and Jackson, S., 2016. Personal values, social capital, and higher education student career decidedness: a new ‘protean’-informed model. Studies in Higher Education, pp.1-23.
Ferrero, I., Michael Hoffman, W. and McNulty, R.E., 2014. Must Milton Friedman embrace stakeholder theory?. Business and Society Review, 119(1), pp.37-59.
Friedman, M., 2009. Capitalism and freedom. University of Chicago press.
Friedman, M., 2017. Milton Friedman on Freedom: Selections from The Collected Works of Milton Friedman. Hoover Press.
Hall, J.C. and Lawson, R.A., 2014. Economic freedom of the world: an accounting of the literature. Contemporary Economic Policy, 32(1), pp.1-19.
Jamaludin, N.L., Sam, D.L., Sandal, G.M. and Adam, A.A., 2016. Personal values, subjective well-being and destination-loyalty intention of international students. SpringerPlus, 5(1), p.720.
Kocet, M.M. and Herlihy, B.J., 2014. Addressing value?based conflicts within the counseling relationship: A decision?making model. Journal of Counseling & Development, 92(2), pp.180-186.
Melo, T. and Garrido?Morgado, A., 2012. Corporate reputation: A combination of social responsibility and industry. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 19(1), pp.11-31.
Wright, A.L., Zammuto, R.F. and Liesch, P.W., 2017. Maintaining the values of a profession: Institutional work and moral emotions in the emergency department. Academy of Management Journal, 60(1), pp.200-237.
Zedler, J., 2014. Ecological Restoration: Principles, Values, and Structure of an Emerging Profession by Andre Clewell, James Aronson (review). Landscape Journal: design, planning, and management of the land, 33(1), pp.77-78.
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