In the contemporary world, businesses are considered the moral actor for the good of society. However, the conventional view of businesses to act ethically by concerning themselves with the larger social goal is being challenged by political influence (Sastry, 2016). Politicians being owners of some big business organizations, impact society negatively, thus tarnishing the image of other business owners. Researchers note that businesses are conscious of their customers’ sustainability, even though it means abandoning their ultimate goal of serving society (Sastry, 2016). The difference in social status in society has contributed to businesses’ tremendous growth rates and competitive nature. This has brought up the big question of the role of business in society. The paper’s primary objective is to explore the moral position of businesses in society.
Businesses Speaking Out Load on Matters Relating to Society
Some issues require every member of society to jump in and help solve some communal issues—for instance, the incidence of mass shootings in the United States. Politicians have been unable to solve the issue of gun policy. However, some business organizations have taken matters into their own hands; for instance, large retail shops remove rifles from their shelves after the incidences of mass shootings. Politicians only make false promises and pass policies that later are never enacted; therefore, society members are left in the same mess as before (Sastry, 2016). In addition, in the United States, political influence has negatively impacted racial issues since political leaders’ campaigns are based on racism. Research indicates that fifty-four percent of workers globally believe that supervisors and CEOs should address the public on controversial social and political issues of interest (Sastry, 2016). In addition, more than fifty percent of consumers believe that businesses are responsible for getting involved in social issues that do not affect the business directly (Sastry, 2016). For instance, employers in the United States fire their workers based on racial factors.
Societal Influence of Businesses
Without customers, businesses would cease to exist; similarly, businesses must exist to cater to the demands of their customers. Customers buy products that preserve or maximize their welfare. On the other hand, workers serve their corporations by accumulating value using their skills and knowledge, and companies support their living in return (Sastry, 2016). Investors come in and back up companies financially that have a future of generating wealth. Companies’ and businesses’ impacts on society can be seen as social capital (Sastry, 2016). Social capital, in this case, describes the skills, experience, and stocks of knowledge. In addition, it defines the well-being that companies share with people and the norms and customs that exist among people.
Businesses can attain positive influence over society by establishing and maintaining social capital through their primary operations. Such operations include goods and services the business provides and other business support via increasingly complex demand and supply chains (Romanelli, 2018). Businesses can offer skills to society members, which can be built through work-based training (Romanelli, 2018). In addition, companies can improve livelihoods through employment and the products they offer to society. Businesses can also improve their domestic and international supply chains, which contributes to poverty reduction, health and well-being, and individual empowerment.
However, social capital can be destroyed by a breakdown in governance, a lack of enforcement of law and regulations, and poor risk management. Additionally, social capital can be damaged when public standards about society’s acceptable behavior transform from the status quo (Romanelli, 2018). Corporate doings may cause psychological and physical mutilation to their workers through poor working environments, neglecting human rights and labor standards, and unequal treatment of employees (Romanelli, 2018). In addition, companies often put pressure on limited infrastructure and some of the natural resources on which the communities operate.
One of the current issues affecting society is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused massive global health disasters and led to tremendous social crises (Mahmud, Ding & Hasan, 2021). COVID-19 caused uncertainties among community members, and therefore, it forced people to be committed to the unity of working together and supporting one another. Businesses have not been exceptional; they have established various initiatives to help community members during the crisis. Such initiatives include consumer relationship system (CSR) programs that help vulnerable people to get back on their feet after particular natural disasters and epidemics (Mahmud et al., 2021). Such programs ensure that vulnerable populations do not face more risks and uncertainties to their income, health, and well-being.
Do businesses share the same rights and responsibilities as other individuals in society?
Businesses have their rights and responsibilities; Some of the rights of the business include decision-making, constructing changes in the company’s strategies, having no limit on capital investment, and adopting business strategies of their choice. Businesses have a set of responsibilities that they have to adhere to their customers, employees, society, and shareholders (CBNation, 2017). When it comes to shareholders, the company is supposed to ensure that they receive a fair share. Since shareholders are the core investors of the company, they require to know how the business is performing (CBNation, 2017). Shareholders had staked their faith in an individual’s company when it was the draft idea. When the business starts recording improved performance and increased profits, shareholders are entitled to an appreciated value of their shares, which should be paid promptly.
Additionally, businesses are responsible for attending to their customers, who are assets for entrepreneurship. In this case, the business should deliver promised products at considerable prices and adhere to quality (CBNation, 2017). Therefore, businesses should not use misleading advertisements or dishonesty in production, which would, in turn, bring them down in the eyes of the customer and society in general. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the business to deal with the customers’ complaints through a proper channel (CBNation, 2017). The business relationship with their customers should be built on trust and honesty. Constructive feedback to customers improves the relationship, thus luring more customers.
It is the responsibility of the business to add value to society through the goods and services they offer. The relationship between society and the business can be improved by staying true to the business objective (CBNation, 2017). The business can attain an excellent societal environment by generating employment opportunities for society members, regardless of their race or gender (CBNation, 2017). Businesses can also attain a better relationship with society members by incorporating their services and operations in society; this encourages cultural interactions in the business world, which improves business operations (CBNation, 2017). In addition, apart from giving back to society, businesses have a core role of protecting the environment against pollution. Businesses’ manufacturing progressions should be environmentally friendly; therefore, the manufacturing processes should not lead to air and water pollution.
CBNation. (2017). What are the rights and responsibilities of businesses? Rescue a CEO. Web.
Mahmud, A., Ding, D., & Hasan, M. M. (2021). Corporate social responsibility: Business responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. SAGE Open, 11(1), 2158244020988710.
Romanelli, M. (2018). Towards sustainable ecosystems. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 35(4), 417-426.
Sastry, T. (2016). Exploring the role of business in society. IIMB Management Review, 23(4), 246-25.