“Doing the Right Thing by Stakeholders Also Benefits Stockholders. Discuss.”

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Within business ethics, an important factor is the relationship within a business – in all aspects. Whether it be the company itself, the employees, employers, shareholders, stakeholders, they all are influenced by one another and have a strong role dedicated to them within a business. Stakeholders are those that hold an interest in the company, but do not own it, and stockholders have actual shares within the company – they own a part of it. This can just be a small fraction that they share with many other people, or they can own a large fraction of a company. Scholars such as Friedman suggest that treating the economic responsibility as the most important responsibility of a business, is called a profit-maximising view, and “the social responsibility of a business is to increase its profits.” This kind of view states that a company should be operated on a profit-orientated basis, with its sole mission being to increase profits. This approach would seem to benefit stockholders, as well as stakeholders, as the stockholder is going to benefit from the profit made by the company and will gain something back from the company, however problems can occur when the businesses and companies do not balance their ethical responsibility, as they can therefore be perceived as greed and unable to balance their corporate social responsibility, and will cause a bad name for a business. So although the stockholder may also be gaining profit by doing this (what the company sees as doing the right thing) is not necessarily the right thing to do in terms of stakeholders. However, Friedman would argue that as long as the business is maximising its profit, that is the main point and so the loss of the stakeholders is less important. This argument can be deemed as weak as Friedman’s approach does not mean that stakeholders can be benefited alongside stockholders, and so disagrees with

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