This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

An Argument in Favor Or Against Putting Profit before Social Responsibility

downloadDownload printPrint

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online

Download PDF

Similarly to Argenti (1986), Milton Friedman (1970) argued that firms’ main responsibility is to generate profits and create value for their shareholders (i.e. their owners), as unlike people, businesses are artificial entities that have no social responsibilities or ethical obligations. In view of these considerations, it can be inferred that even though Argenti (1986) does not explicitly state that concepts such as ethics, responsibility and morals are incompatible with the business world, he certainly believes that managers should pay more attention to profit than social responsibility.

From a strictly teleological point of view, Argenti’s (1986) line of argument is certainly sound, as all businesses operating and competing in the commercial world need to generate profits in order to survive and succeed. Therefore, it follows that managers’ main goal and priority should be profit generation, which means that if they had to choose between acting responsibly and maximising revenues in order to create value for those who own the organisation, they should honour their duties by protecting their employers’ interests.

However, from a more practical perspective, real-life cases indicate that when managers focus exclusively on profit and short-term growth, they may end up making irresponsible decisions, thus triggering potentially catastrophic crises and failures. In this regard, Kirkpatrick (2009) noted that in spite of its magnitude and severe consequences, the 2007-2008 financial crisis was actually triggered by a handful of firms whose profit-driven strategies resulted in a global crisis from which many countries across the world have not yet fully recovered. Considering the negative impact that such events have not only on the general public but also on shareholders, it is evident that focussing solely on profitability is not an effective long-term strategy. Furthermore, statistics suggest that more and more people across the world are becoming increasingly interested in corporate governance and business ethics, to the extent that a significant percentage of consumers have claimed that they would rather buy from socially responsible companies than irresponsible ones. (Starr, 2013) This clearly indicates that corporate social responsibility and business ethics are highly likely to affect businesses’ reputation and performance, which is why managers should strive to make ethical and responsible decisions in order to achieve long-term profitability and success.

At this point, a question arises: if none of the above were true, why would some of the world’s largest companies waste their time and resources publishing periodical corporate governance reports aimed at reassuring stakeholders about their good practices?

Apple and Nike, for example, have both been negatively affected by scandals resulting from unethical practices aimed at maximising profits and minimising costs. (Adams, 2012; Daily Mail, 2011) As a result of that, they have had to modify their corporate strategies in such a way to guarantee more transparency and sustainability across their respective value chains. This is because recent scandals have sensitised consumers to concepts such as business ethics and corporate governance, thus pressuring businesses to ensure that their suppliers are also socially responsibly, as “ignorance” is no longer considered to be an acceptable excuse among today’s demanding and informed consumers.

In light of these observations, it can be inferred that while managers should certainly try to maximise profits and shareholder value, past corporate failures have clearly proved that profit-driven strategies are unlikely to lead to long-term profitability. Moreover, with consumers becoming increasingly demanding and concerned about environmental / social issues, it is crucial that managers should take into consideration the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders (including society, employees and the environment) in order to achieve sustainable growth and profitability.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

An Argument in Favor Or Against Putting Profit before Social Responsibility. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from
“An Argument in Favor Or Against Putting Profit before Social Responsibility.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
An Argument in Favor Or Against Putting Profit before Social Responsibility. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 16 Aug. 2022].
An Argument in Favor Or Against Putting Profit before Social Responsibility [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2022 Aug 16]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!


    Professional writers and researchers


    Sources and citation are provided


    3 hour delivery