Understanding Business And Society Essay Samples
Businesses lie individuals thrive and operates within societies and the environment. For this reason, business activities affect the communities they operate in and are consequently affected by these societies. To effectively and efficiently maximize business operations, there is a need to strike a balance between enterprises and communities. In understanding the concept, revisiting Surviving Progress and The Corporation films and various creative works of Garret, Steinbeck as well as Rice among others will prove essential.
In the first approach, the paper examines the ideology of human progress and presenting an understanding of why civilization remains among the major growth trap while referring to the history of mankind. The work of Wright that relates to real progress, as well as progress traps, is essential. Through his definition of real progress, it implies a situation where individuals introduce new ways and activities with sufficient resources and knowledge to sustain them. For example, he attributes the ability to create fire as the first sign of progress (Wright 2010). Wright articulates the history of the world through a sketch to imply it resulted in a succession of progress traps. He refers progress trap as a situation by what human ingenuity with an aim of pursuing progress ends up introducing problems that lack resources or ideas to solve as a result limiting further development. As a result, individuals enter into progress traps through the aspect of comparing themselves with others though it has yielded civilization. Wright refers civilization as an experiment that possesses a habit of getting into the progress trap. He argues that civilization is a form of a social pyramid in that it is results from people’s failure to foresee repercussions in the long-range that may tend to become inherent to human beings. He also refers it to a mix of greed, inertia as well as foolishness in the manner social pyramids are driven. Wright also defines progress using the Victorian terms that signifies changes in human life in a pattern form that comprises of irreversible changes that follows a particular direction that aims at achieving improvement. The approach has led to the idea that human civilization is in the middle of an important progress trap as evidenced by technological advancements, nanotechnology as well as bio-engineering among others in a global scale that signifies that societal collapse could affect all human beings.
Braverman presents another approach relating to the understanding between people and labor. Through his works, he gave a major observation regarding the capitalistic principle mode of production in a detailed division of labor. He explained social division of labor as an essential factor while determining technological development rate, rates of inequality as well as the level of solidarity and cohesiveness among workers. On the other hand, he portrays detailed division of labor in a more varied manner. The complete division of labor ensures full breakdown of the manufacturing process into simple defined steps and consequently assigning them to different workers. Therefore, where specialization may imply assigning an employee a particular job, detailed division of labor refers to assigning specific discrete tasks. The social consequence of the production pattern employed by capitalists leads to shaping individuals working lives together with developing the character of the whole sociocultural system (Uno 209). The process, therefore, leads to an establishment of a polarized capitalistic society characterized by dominant elites at the top level while at the lower level, an enormous number rests. Presenting a new approach to innovative thinking, Charles Babbage gave an analysis of innovation as well as a technical division of labor plus specialization in a capitalistic system. He noted the aspect of high wages for workers performing high-skilled tasks even in situations where they performed lower skilled work. He attributed cost of labor reduction to labor division through assigning high-skilled labor to high-cost employees while at the same time ensuring that low-skilled work is limited to low-cost workers. Through his principle commonly referred to as the Babbage principle, he attributes benefit of division of labor as realized where the work processes are divided into sections that requires specific skills and assigning specific individuals to perform those skills based on the skills they possess. In other words, he refers to the benefit of specialization as the best approach for manufacturers to minimize labor costs and in return reducing production costs (May 2011). Through specialization as explained in the Babbage principle, the labor process eventually leads to degradation of work. It results from the fact that workers will only engage in tasks that they get pay for and neglect all those other tasks that are not meant for them. For example, a low-cost worker may overlook a simple error that he can correct resulting from a high-cost worker just because he is not paid for it. As Braverman describes, detailed division of labor leads to improved production as focus is on specifics as opposed to a general approach. As evidenced by Rice’s works through specifications in poems writing and achieving greater heights in that particular field.
Focusing on Nace and his view of corporations, he provides a sinister face of companies where he defines them as corporate entities performing their functions under their own legal and independent set of dynamics as well as motives. He links organizations with the possibility of engaging in any form of evil while pursuing their self-interest. The company possesses unlimited power prompting a possibility of continuous life. Consequently, companies possess mobility and adapting techniques to different conditions. Through the characteristics of the companies portrayed by Nace, it is crystal clear that corporations are under no means closer to human beings in terms of power and life. Companies hold the possibility of performing beyond various laws faced by typical individuals and possesses better and more rights than the American citizens (Uno 2009). Nace portrays an idea behind the creation of American corporations that it was politically motivated to ensure companies remained weak politically. Through continuous changes to the legal framework, companies of that existed before the civil war and those survived afterward are very different. The major differences of those corporate formed before the civil war of classic corporate and those formed after (modern corporations ) relates to; restrictions where classic ones had restrictions and the current fails to adhere to any limitations. Again modern organizations have no limit and classic corporate had limits. Consequently, formation of modern organizations is easy as opposed to difficulties experienced by traditional companies. Glasbeek, on the other hand, defines the characteristics of a company as an institution that comprises of wrongs and wrong-doers benefiting from the protection of the law. The separation is ensured through shareholders enjoying limited liability (May 2011). Limited liability helps shareholders in that in case of a situation where the a corporate is sued and required to pay any fines, and the owner's properties cannot be sold to cater for the expenses. Steinbeck’s story of the farmers in the Grape Vine portrays a capitalistic nations approach towards the poor. Since in a capitalistic economy wealth is never shared, upon migration, the farmers sought jobs where they lived in deplorable conditions in the tents. Their employers were responsible for the poor situation of the farmers as the wages they paid them was inefficient.
In capitalistic environments, establishment of legal as well as ethical obligations among Corporations will serve in protecting environment. Since workers and the society, in general, are part of the environment, they will be protected against exploitation by corporations as they only mind maximizing the shareholder's wealth. Friedman opposes the doctrine of social responsibility organizations adopts referring it to as a dangerous doctrine. As a great oppose of corporate responsibility, Friedman believes that the reason behind organizations engaging in social responsibilities is to benefit themselves and not the community. He attributes the reasoning behind basing on the facts behind companies directors and other heads roles of working in the interest of the owners. Owners of Corporations mostly shareholders aim for the individuals running the organization on their behalf to focus on maximization of the owners’ wealth. As social responsibility is contrary to the wish of the employers, it is thus illogic to happen (Uno 209). The approach to balancing these options is left in the hands of chief executive officers and directors that they wisely perform through political mechanisms. Glasbeek, a significant contributor to capitalistic approach and the society critics capitalism ethical justification that in a way presents response to Friedman. The moral justification in a capitalistic economy first disallows greed and inequality signifying that they affect the efficiency of the overall economy. It also states that continuous pursuit of wealth is for the benefit of all within the economy. The capitalist market economies consequently justify their actions of engaging in business through portraying the authority as the wrong channel to ensure distribution of products to the people, as well as planning for production. Glasbeek critics these ethical justifications through first stating that a corporation performs the exact opposite from what is claimed by its proponents. Secondly, he believes less freedom of individuals occurs through increased freedom of corporations. Lastly, he proposes that ethical proposals by capitalists relating to the market fail to recognize that neutrality is unavailable in the market but results from legal and political arrangements. Through Glasbeek critique of ethical justification of capitalism, he conforms to Friedman believe that social responsibility operates for the benefit of the organization as opposed to that of the society. He states that capitalism works the opposite of what is said. The main character Mr. Galt, who is portrayed as an investor and a philosopher, acts with an aim of maximizing the interest of the public. It is attributed to the fact that he organizes strikes silently without revealing himself and also fights for the rights of those waiting for employment. Through maintaining silence in his actions, he portrays fight for the public as opposed to self-glory.
In conclusion, capitalistic market observers present differing views that aim at explaining the relationship between businesses and societies (Uno 209). But the inferences drawn from the observations made, it is right to indicate that capitalism operates for the benefit of corporations without considering the benefits human beings derive.
May, Steve. The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.
Surviving Progress. First Run Features, 2012. Film.
Uno, Ko. Principles of Political Economy: Theory of a Purely Capitalist Society. Brighton, Sussex: Harvester ;, 2009. Print.
Wright, Ronald. A Short History of Progress. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2010. Print.
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