Milton Friedman Business Ethics

1520 Words7 Pages
4BCT - Ronan Carr (12363236)
20th November 2015

CT436: Business Ethics Essay

Analyse Milton Friedman’s position that the only social responsibility of a business is to increase its profits for its shareholders. Do you agree? Discuss in relation to examples from the IT industry.

Milton Friedman was an American economist who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and the complexity of stabilization policy. In 1970 Friedman wrote an article in The New York Times Magazine, where he says he believes the social responsibility of a business is to increase its profits. In this essay I hope to give my opinion on this issue and discuss examples we can see today
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It has no relevance for the world of business. As Friedman says himself “There is one and only one social responsibility of business - to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits as long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception and fraud”. Friedman believes that it is irresponsible of a company to divert profits for social responsibility activities. Social responsibility is purely a governmental issue and is of no concern to businesses. Essentially, Friedman says that the government set out the social responsibilities of business, e.g. tax, and as long as the company complies with these rules that should be…show more content…
In 2009, Dell announced they were closing their manufacturing plant in Limerick and moving to their facility in Poland with the loss of 1900 jobs. These job losses were especially devastating on the Limerick area as it was the lower skilled factory workers who suffered. This was done as the cost of labour in Poland is much cheaper than Ireland. In this case, Dell are putting the interests of the shareholders ahead of their employees by moving to a different location. Dell’s chief executives only concern is profits and will try to achieve this no matter what. But Dell are not alone in this practice. There are many other American companies that have moved their manufacturing plants to China to reduce their wage bill and ultimately increase profits for the
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