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Chapter 6: Social Responsibilities of a Business And Business Ethics
A business enterprise should do business and earn money in ways that fulfill the expectations of society.
Every individual living in society has certain obligations towards society. He has to respect social values and norms of behavior. A business enterprise is permitted by society to carry on industrial or commercial activities and thereby earn profits.
But it is obligatory on part of the business enterprise not to do anything, that is undesirable from society’s point of view.
Manufacture and sale of adulterated goods, making deceptive advertisements, not paying taxes that are due, polluting the environment and exploiting workers are some examples of socially undesirable practices which may increase the profit of enterprises but which have an adverse effect on society at large.
On the other hand, supplying good quality goods, creating healthy working conditions, honestly paying taxes preventing/installing pollution devices in the factory, and sincerely attending to customer complaints are examples of socially desirable practices which improve the image of enterprises and also make them profitable. In fact, it is through socially responsible and ethically upright behaviour that business enterprises can get durable success.
6.2 Concept of Social Responsibility
Social responsibility of business refers to its obligation to take those decisions and perform those actions which are desirable in terms of the objectives and values of our society.
The assumption of social responsibilities by business enterprises implies that they respect the aspirations of society and would try their best to contribute to the achievement of these aspirations along with their profit interests.
This idea is in contrast to the common notion that business exists only for maximizing profits for its owners and it is irrelevant to talk of public good.
It follows that a responsible business, and indeed any responsible member of society, must act with due concern for the effects on the lives of other people. In this sense, social responsibility is broader than legal responsibility of business.
Legal responsibility may be fulfilled by mere compliance with the law. Social responsibility is more than that.
It is a firm’s recognition of social obligations even though not covered by law, along with the obligations laid down by law. In other words, social responsibility involves an element of voluntary action on the part of business people for the benefit of society.
6.3 Need for Social Responsibility
What is the right thing to do when it comes to social responsibility?
Should a business enterprise be run for the benefit of its owners who may desire to get as much profit as is possible or else, it needs to be responsible for serving the interest of other sections of society such as customers, employees, suppliers, government and community?
The very concept of social responsibility implies that it is essentially an ethical issue since it involves the question of what is morally right or wrong in relation to the firm’s responsibilities.
Social responsibility also has an element of voluntary action on the part of the business person who may feel free to perform or not to perform such responsibilities.
They may also exercise their freedom for deciding the extent to which they would like to serve various sections of society.
In fact, all business people do not feel equally responsible towards society. There has been a debate, for some time now about whether businesses should assume social responsibilities or not. Some people strongly believe that a firm’s
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 Business Studies Chapter 6 Social Responsibilities of a Business
1. What do you understand by social responsibility of business? How is it different from legal responsibility?
It implies the duties and set of responsibilities that a business organisation has towards society and its members. It also insists the enterprise must conduct various activities which are beneficial for society. Business always makes use of resources of society and hence it is a part of their responsibility to give something back by working for the improvement of society.
Social responsibility is different from legal responsibility as by abiding only by the laws; legal responsibilities can be taken care of while social responsibilities are more concerned with doing better for society as in generating employment for poor and those who are physically challenged and employment opportunities for women.
2. What is the environment? What is environmental pollution?
The environment comprises of the biotic and abiotic resources that are present in and around us. It impacts our quality of life. But with rapid growth in human population coupled with industrialisation, resources have been used, resulting in their depletion or degradation. Also, harmful discharge into the environment has resulted in polluting the area.
There are 4 types of pollution:
1. Water pollution is caused by industrial waste after getting discharged from the pipe.
2. The dumping of toxic wastes in the ground causes land pollution and also makes the land unfit for any kind of agricultural activities.
3. Noise pollution is caused by vehicles and factories causing, health problems such as hearing loss and mental disorders.
4. Air Pollution is caused by the burning of waste materials, exhaust fumes from vehicles that release harmful gases into the atmosphere.
3. What is business ethics? Mention the basic elements of business ethics.
Business ethics deals with values and principles governing the behavior of an individual or an organization and business activities that are considered as likable from the society’s viewpoint. It helps managers and the other employees in performing their duties in a manner that is found to be socially acceptable.
Some elements of business ethics are:
1. Commitment from Top Management
2. Formation of a “code”
3. Establishing a compliance mechanism.
4. Involving employee at all levels.
5. Measuring results
4. Briefly explain (a) Air pollution, (b) Water pollution and (c) Land pollution.
1. Air Pollution is caused by the burning of waste materials, and exhaust fumes from vehicles that release harmful gases into the atmosphere.
2. Water pollution which is caused by industrial waste after getting discharged from pipes.
3. The dumping of toxic wastes in ground causes land pollution and also makes the land unfit for any kind of agricultural activities.
NCERT Class 11 Business Studies Textbook Chapter 6 With Answer PDF Free Download