The value of business to society and the obligations of businessmen: Starting a New Year
Business people must be proud. When operating wisely and ethically, they bring value not only to themselves, their people but also to the society at large.
The call for businesses to do better, to deliver results and to improve stems not only from the self-interest of businessmen but also from the way markets are naturally structured to function to serve the general needs of society and as a result, create value.
As the New Year is approaching, it provides a good opportunity to think anew our businesses: What we deliver and how? Which customers are we addressing? Is our business growing or is it in a stalemate? What are our responsibilities to ourselves and our people? Are we considering responsibilities to other people too?
Responsible business people must think wider and honor the role that society has entrusted business to play in creating mutual long term benefits.
A business, above all, is an instrument of economic performance, but we must not forget that it has in its ranks people and operates in a local/global society, and therefore it is also a part and an organ of society. It is its own goal to grow and expand and become better that, when achieved, also creates value and prospects for society. Thus a businessman’s responsibility for success cannot be confined to himself alone but must extend to society as well.
This societal responsibility of the business becomes clearer and more easily understood during business failures and bankruptcies where the business owners/managers are obligated with none or limited responsibilities while society is asked to foot the bill for the business failure.
So be it good or bad times, a businessman must also see himself as an agent to whom society has entrusted resources [...]