QS Study

Kinds of Social Responsibility

Social responsibility of business can broadly be divided into four categories, which are as follows:

(a) Economic responsibility: A business enterprise is basically an economic entity and, therefore, its primary social responsibility is economic i.e., produce goods and services that society wants and sell them at a profit. There is little discretion in performing this responsibility.

(b) Legal responsibility: Every business has a responsibility to operate within the laws of the land. Since these laws are meant for the good of the society, a law abiding enterprise is a socially responsible enterprise as well.

(c) Ethical responsibility: This includes the behavior of the firm that is expected by society but not codified in law. For example, respecting the religious sentiments and dignity of people while advertising for a product. There is an element of voluntary action in performing this responsibility.

(d) Discretionary responsibility: This refers to purely voluntary obligation that an enterprise assumes, for instance, providing charitable contributions to educational institutions or helping the affected people during floods or earthquakes.