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Social Value Is Part of the Organizational Goals

Nov 9, 2007
No organization, even if it were interested in profitability as a prime goal, could avoid producing some kind of social benefit or avoid intending at least in some part to achieve some kind of goal, which is other than purely making money . If something else were to be required in order to start up a business enterprise in addition to defining the essence of the goal of a business as being "a business to make money," then there must be another element, which is the defining feature of the business, in addition to the profit margin. Making profits is not a goal on its own. It does not define the mission of a business. One must add in something else in order to produce a product that is needed, or to provide a service that is requested. The notion of filling some kind of social need must be taken into account, when one is starting up a business enterprise.

That is the reason why business enterprises consider today the creation of social value or the fulfillment of a social need as necessary. Of course, it is understood that the desire for the acquisition of personal or family wealth, lies at the basis of business activities. What is being suggested here is that the drive to obtain personal wealth cannot be actualized without taking social needs into account. While it could be argued that the fulfillment of social needs is not a self-conscious ethical act, it certainly can be self-conscious. But whether or not one also derived a profit from one's actions, would be a separate question from whether or not one's actions produce social value. If one's actions produce social value, such actions can be construed as ethical, whether or not they are also profitable. In addition, the defining of business simply as an activity that intends to make profit without referring to social values, is incomplete, since it totally omits both how and why such a profit is made. For a definition to fully satisfy the nature of business, a reference to social value cannot be omitted. A definition of business just as a definition of economics must make a reference to social value and thus, must make reference to ethics, in order to be comprehensible. The values that one attempts to realize are the whys and the wherefores of business activities. Business has no definition, if social needs and social values are excluded, when one attempts to define it.

Thus, it is essential to notice that whether or not the provider of the service or the manufacturer of the product has in mind any social value to be gained from that service or product, the service or product in itself, must provide some social value. It may be argued that some services (such as usurer), or some products (such as drugs), provide disvalue rather than value, but it would be difficult to provide many examples of a good produced, or a service provided, that did not provide some social value. There may be debate as to whether the next effect of the product or a service, is a value or a disvalue to society. Still this does not affect the point that every good produced, or every service provided, does not produce some social value however minimal, or however counterbalanced it is, by some social disvalue that is produced. What follows from this is that there is no such activity as a business venture that is totally divorced from producing some social value.

If it were true that every business enterprise must produce some social value, then to take the consideration of value as part of what is produced must be encountered at the core of a business enterprise. When we consider that ethics is relevant to business, then one must take ethical considerations into account when contemplating the role of the organization.
About the Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Employment , Business , and Real Estate
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