Social responsibility can be termed either ethical or ideological. Kaliski, (2001) gives the definition that, “social responsibility can have a negative impact where it is a responsibility to refrain from acting (resistant stance) or there is a positive impact where it is a responsibility to act (proactive stance)” (Kaliski, 2001). Now in the business aspect of things, I personally wouldn’t use the term social responsibility but I would include what the Corporate Social Responsibility is.
Carroll & Buchholtz (2006), give two definitions to corporate social responsibility which are “ considering the impact of the company’s actions on society” and “the individual to consider his acts in terms of a whole social system, and holds himself responsible for the effects of his acts anywhere in that system. (Carrol & Buchholz, 2006). ” These two definitions are complete opposites but do tie in social responsibility. The first definition of course describes what social responsibility means in a business world, while the second definition ties into what social responbilities main purpose is towards society.
In today’s society businesses must maintain ethical practices to be successful. In (Kaliski, 2001) explanation on Social Responsibility and Organizational Ethics, the author states that businesses can use ethical decisions or responsibilities to strengthen their business in three ways. The first way is stated by increasing businesses productivity. “This can be done through programs that employees feel directly enhance their benefits given by the corporation, like better health care or a better pension program. One thing that all companies must keep in mind is that employees are stakeholders in the business.
They have a vested interest in what the company does and how it is run. When the company is perceived to feel that their employees are a valuable asset and the employees feel they are being treated and such, productivity increases (Kaliski, 2001). ” Kaliski describes the second way that a business can make ethical decisions are “by making decisions that affect its health as seen to those stakeholders that are outside of the business environment. (Kaliski, 2001)” Lastly it is stated that the third way is “making decisions that allow for government agencies to minimize their involvement with the corporation (Kaliski, 2001).
” I support Friedman’s opinion on social responsibility where he gave the example of the corporate executive giving his own responsibilities to certain things as family, charity and church as recognizable and voluntary but at the same time Friedman concludes that “these are social responsibilities of the people, not the business (Friedman, 1970). ” Now if this example played more into a corporate setting and the corporate executive created certain responsibilities that had an impact on the corporation and society then I would again deem the term corporate social responsibility.
My opinion or definition on social responsibility is easily internalized, where I believe that we either have a responsibility to choose what is right or wrong not socially but in society. So in explaining social responsibility, I would say that social responsibility is more depicted towards society and is more ideological than ethical. To me being social responsible is more about your views and beliefs towards society and the responsible manner you play behind it.
Social responsibility is too broad, it doesn’t just look at the business aspects of things but also it looks at governments, organizations, corporations, and even the individual. Kaliski, (2001) again brings up certain questions that I have tried to presume help in when including social responsibility towards a business, Kaliski puts, and “this brings us to the next question in the search for the meaning of socially responsible ethics and what it means to business. Can a business be socially responsible? If it can be then what criteria does it need to ensure that it is perceived in this manner?
For each business it must be a different measure. After all, each business is trying to reach different goals. However, there are four areas that should be measured no matter what the outcome that is needed. Those measurements are Economic function, Quality of life, Social investment and Problem solving (Kaliski, 2001). ” Again, does this mean if a business reaches these measurements, then they are presented as socially responsible? I think not, I would consider them maybe corporate socially responsible and even though there is the same word usage, the definitions portrait two different meanings.