QS Study

Social Power — Responsibility Equation

Social power is a basis of common elements in politics, economics, and all other social relationship. It is the ability to achieve goals even if other people oppose those goals. It is possessed by all individual and social groups and arises out of their connections to each other.

(a) Social Responsibility Goes with Social Power: The concept of social responsibility is merely a preliminary step toward the social effects of business. It is the underlying value which gives businessmen a sound basis for social action. It is the philosophy which justifies business involvement in its social community.

(b) Objections to a balance of Power and Responsibility: The logic of reasonably balanced power and responsibility is often over looked by those who object to social responsibilities for business. The fallacy of their objections is that usually they are based on an economic model of pure competition in which market forces leave business theoretically without any social power.

(c) The Iron Law of Responsibility: The Iron law of responsibility says that in the long run those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it.

(d) Balancing Power and Responsibility: In line with the foregoing analysis, proposals for a strictly economic function of busmen with no social responsibility lose dome of their glamour because they mean substantial loss of business power. It is unlikely that businessmen will concede their social power so easily because they ate men of action who will not sit quietly on the sidelines of society.

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