Do global corporations have an obligation to fight poverty

Cecelia L Discussion 8

Do global corporations have an obligation to fight poverty? Certainly not legal, and many people like to cite Friedman and his idea that business is responsible for making a profit while following the rules of society, laws, and do so without deception or fraud (Friedman, 1970). However, in today’s society, it has become necessary to do the responsible things such as fight poverty, hunger, pollution, and all the ethical socially responsibilities or possibly lose revenue and profits to other more socially responsible corporations.

More and more major corporations are requiring middle management and above to log in a requirement of volunteer hours each month (representing the company). Some companies require volunteerism for their executives to different social groups such as Altrusa International, Rotary, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce and others. They do this because it makes the company look good! It gets their people recognized, which in turn gets the company recognized, and it makes them feel good too. If CSR is helping people AND increasing profits, that is a win-win. Today, everyone from the lowliest staff member to the CEO and President participate in food drives because they see the need for them and it makes them feel useful.

Ciulla, (2014) describes leadership as “a complex moral relationship between people, based on trust, obligation, emotion, and some shared vision of the good.” Being ethical and moral in a group or organization can be challenging. Doing the “right” thing is not always easy or popular which is why it takes a strong leader to embrace the difficult decisions. For an ethical and moral leader the question may be, do we adopt this culture we are living in and bring good changes to the lives around us or do we continue with the same old thing of putting a few more pennies in someone else’s pockets? Of course, corporations have to be careful what they fund. Critics often come from whichever side chosen. Customers have become savvy with technology and do look at what the companies they buy from support. This does have an effect on profits, one way or the other.

Ciulla, J. B. (2014). “Introduction,” Ethics, The Heart of Leadership. Third Edition. Westport, CT. p. xv.

Friedman, M. (1970). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. The New York Times Magazine, September.

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