Concepts of Social Responsibility
Social responsibility of business refers to its obligation to take those decisions and perform those actions which are desirable in terms of the objectives and values of our society. The assumption of social responsibilities by business enterprises implies that they respect the aspirations of society and would try their best to contribute to the achievement of these aspirations along with their profit interests. This idea is in contrast to the common notion that business exists only for maximizing profits for its owners and it is irrelevant to talk of public good. It follows that a responsible business, and indeed any responsible member of society, must act with due concern for the effects on the lives of other people.
In this sense, social responsibility is broader than legal responsibility of business. Legal responsibility may be fulfilled by mere compliance with the law. Social responsibility is more than that. It is a firm’s recognition of social obligations even though not covered by law, along with the obligations laid down by law. In other words, social responsibility involves an element of voluntary action on the part of business people for the benefit of society.