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Arguments Against Corporate Social Responsibility

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The paper tells that critics of CSR do not say that businesses should not take care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the society, but they question whether actual obligations should be put on companies to do this.   People fear that followers of CSR in top positions of companies will aim for improvements to better the world based on personal ideas of what they think a company should be and how it should run. This risks them spending the money of shareholders on improper actions, without thinking about what effect their spending will have on shareholders’ interests.   Specialised companies also suffer if they follow CSR because they fail to put the right funding into making proper products at cheap prices for their customers.

Of course, the main critic of CSR is from Milton Friedman, who famously said that businesses should only have one single aim in their sights: “ to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition, without deception or fraud” .  Friedman attacked theories that tried to expand corporate responsibilities beyond reasonable limits and criticised the absence of specific statements as to what CSR should actually consist of.   This is not to say that Friedman thought that companies could act as they wished without any obligations to society.   He did say that companies have a certain role which should not have activities which go beyond this role.   He said, however, that, by observing the normal activities of companies within their natural role, one can see that businesses fulfill their societal obligations.   The content of this normal role of businesses is based on the simple fact of making products and providing services at prices that people are able to pay.   Therefore, Friedman said that expanding the role of corporations would prevent them from seeking their general role of competition in a capitalist structure.   He said that it was not right to spend the money that did not belong to the corporation (because it belongs to the shareholders) which could cause the aims of the company to be confused, causing it to put profit below CSR aims.  

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preview essay on Arguments Against Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Pages: 10 (2500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Business
  • Level: Undergraduate
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