While the concept of an individual having responsibility is commonly recognized, modern views have lead to the emerging issue of corporate responsibility. Business Directory.com defines corporate social responsibility as, “A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship (1) through their waste and pollution reduction processes, (2) by contributing educational and social programs, and (3) by earning adequate returns on the employed resources.” But such a concept has been much disputed since at least the 1970’s.
When the problem became serious two main views formed: the “narrow” view and the “broader” view, based on different ideas. The “narrow” view is based on the proposition that corporations have no social responsibility and they have only one main purpose, to make a profit (Friedman, 1970). So corporations should remain socially independent and all conflicts must be solved through the individual responsibility concept. On the contrary the “broader” view states that corporations have social obligations as all existing participants of market, persons and entities are tied together and are mutually dependent. So corporations cannot ignore some serious events or problems, which take place, and must help society, as profit is not their single purpose.
Supporters of the “narrow” view claim that corporations naturally have a main purpose to produce a profit. Any of their activity that seems to be social is in fact performed with the purpose of generating profit. So any corporate social projects are made to motivate or attract employees, customers or investors, or to receive some taxation gains (Shaw & Barry, 2011). This view is close to old traditional economic theories. For example the invisible-hand argument, based on studies of Adam Smith, states invisible hand of market affects all market participants’ actions and leads to general good. Any outside interference is not needed and only harms business (Shaw & Barry, 2011). Also the “narrow” view is believed to protect interests of shareholders of corporations, as corporations first of all are created to satisfy their interests, which usually are clearly material. Social orientation of corporations decreases profits of shareholders. According to this view corporate responsibility concept can eliminate responsibility for individuals. Which if something went wrong they would probably attempt to justify their actions and blame corporate regulations instead. The “Broader view” is based on the idea that private or corporate interests cannot be separated from social ones (Hopkins, 2004). All participants’ actions are...