1. A sentence that provides a synopsis of the article.
The article mainly discusses about the dangers and downfall with management’s social responsibility. The author argues that self-conscious dedication to social responsibility could have started as a purely defensive mechanism by the company against strident attacks on big corporations and on the moral efficacy of the profit system. It does not reflect a change in businessmen’s nature or the decay of self-interest. The function of business is to produce sustained high-level profits. The significance of free enterprise is to go after profit in any way that is consistent with its own survival as an economic system. Indeed, as the profit motive becomes increasingly sublimated, capitalism will become only a shadow, the torpid remains of the creative dynamism, which was and might have been.
2. Three or four important features, facts and highlights from the article.
One important fact from the article is the concept that the main purpose of every business is to generate a high level profit to increase the wealth of its owners and to sustain the business survival. This can be attain with the effective and efficient operations under the supervision of the management in the company. It is the ultimate purpose of every business in every industry, to be profitable. One highlight that can be noticed is what is a new feudalism is being viewed that they are against the all-embracing welfare state not because of the objection to the welfare but because the objection to the centralized power and the harsh social discipline. The point is that the objection is for the pervasive welfare state in the government and objections for the unions. Hence, these are being objected to be included inside a corporation.
Another interesting feature that was brought about the creation of monolithic society that is dull and frightening. The author believes in pluralism. The author feared the authority of political institutions by businesses as a result of corporate social responsibility. The possible combination of governmental and corporate authority would result in a fusing of the two institutions into a powerful, unified entity. Pluralism requires the separation of power between the various institutions of society. Levitt also strongly argues that the corporation’s business are not the welfare and the society because in a free enterprise, welfare is supposedly automatic and already given. But because most of the time it is not given, it will be passed to government as their additional job. I believe that it is not the company’s ultimate business but it is one way of how the corporation interacts and give back to the community being regarded that a corporations is an artificial being within the community.
The only political function of business, labour and agriculture is to fight each other so that nothing becomes dominant for long and to have balance and equality. He also mentioned that the functions of government, business, labour, and agriculture which are the four main groups in the economy must be separate to each other because as soon as these four will work collectively, then it will become monstrous and restrictive. One interesting feature to see is the author’s belief that social responsibilities would detract the management’s sight from the profit motive of the company that is significant for the success and sustainability of every business. Another notable question that the author mentioned is that if the businessmen will not practice social responsibility, then how the management will effectively deal with the critics, political attacks and confining legislation.
The answer he gave is to perform its main task so well that detractors cannot make their charges stick and to assert its function and accomplishments to the same aroused spirit that made the capitalism as great as it was extreme. In the article, he also mentioned that the governing rule in industry should be that “something is good only if it pays.” I think that a business should not measure the goodness only through monetary measurements because frequently, doing a social responsibility also give a good impact and benefits to the corporation’s image.
The fact which Levitt talks about that whatever and no matter how much business serves, it will never be enough to the critics. I stand that this is true and factual because as human nature, people tend to ask for more and never get satisfied oftentimes. But doing a corporate social responsibility is an act not to please the critics and the detractors of a corporation but to give and help purely for the benefit of the society and community.
3. Most importantly, please provide your thoughts / reflections / reactions on the article.
What does it take you notice, think of, or feel about certain issues? The article is interesting and the arguments by the authors moved me. But it does not change the fact that I strongly believe that a corporate social responsibility can provide harmful effects. At some point I am agreeing to the fact of pluralism that was introduced in the article. I also believe that the four main groups in the economy must act as one because I also feel and think that it will bring more negative dispositions to the society that will create another arguments and deliberations.
Corporate social responsibility is not the ultimate saviour of a company to remain in business however, it has already been proved most of the time that the company that cares to the community and environment surely gets a positive image as a whole. However, the company’s corporate social responsibility practices should not be the one that has to be magnified in the organization. It is still the company’s operation as a whole. Thus, these good deeds and practices should not be used and abused to cover the unethical and even illegal operations and doings by the corporation because the social responsibility is a humanitarian act by the company to give and reflect back to the community.