Social Responsibility and why it is important for modern businesses.

The concept of social responsibility in relation to business means that the firm functions to accomplish its financial objectives and serves the society as well. No business exists in isolation. Every organ of the society contributes towards the success of a business. Thus it becomes imperative that business too does something for the society in return. This responsibility of business towards the society is called social responsibility.

A socially responsible firm should not work solely for profit maximization but should also seek the welfare of different sections of the society. Social responsibility of business refers to its obligations to take those decisions and perform those actions which are acceptable in terms of the objectives and values of the society.

Why business need to do social responsibility?

Business is a Part of Society:

Since business organisations are a part of society they must have a positive attitude towards the needs of society. Business is only a sub-system of society and this sub-system must contribute to the welfare of the main system. Therefore, the decisions taken by the manager should take into consideration the welfare of not only his organisation but also the welfare of other sub-systems (different parts of society like customers, shareholders, employees, etc.)

Long-Term Interest:

It is in the long-term interest of the business to discharge its social obligations by serving different interest groups such as employees, consumers, government and citizens. Wise business persons know that unless they serve the society by fulfilling its needs, they will not be able to climb the success ladder.

Indebted to Society:

A business uses the resources of the society for its functioning. Hence, it becomes obligatory for it to pay back its dues by serving the society. Businessmen should tend to the needs of the society and use its resources for community welfare. This practice ultimately helps the organization in establishing itself on the strong foundation of a pleased society and a cooperative labour force.

Public Image:

The activities of business towards the welfare of the society earn goodwill and reputation for the business. The earnings of business also depend upon the public image of its activities. People prefer to buy products of a company that engages itself in various social welfare programmes. Again, good public image also attracts honest and competent employees to work with such employers.

Social Awareness:

These days, employees and customers are more informed about their rights. While consumers expect the seller to abide by the fair trade practices, workers want fair wages and other employee benefits. If the expectations of these interest groups are not met, they may resort to either anti-social activities or seek help from trade unions and consumer courts. This will lead to industrial turmoil and unrest within the society which is harmful for proper functioning of the business.