Reality of Social ResponsibilityOn the basis of the above arguments for and against social responsibility, one may wonder what the businessmen do in reality. The most important recent change in the attitude of business people has been the realization towards social obligations besides ensuring their own existence through profitable activity. Sometimes this realization is not genuine and is just quoted for the survival of private enterprise. But at the same time it cannot be denied that private business does realize and recognise that people in the democratic society have certain human rights and therefore, can demand responsible conduct from the business. Unless the business is prepared to play its legitimate role as an organ of society, it has little chance of success. Some of the reasons and factors, which have persuaded businessmen to consider their responsibilities to the development of business with social responsibilities, are:
- Threat of Public Regulation: Democratically elected governments of today are expected to take care of all sections of society. Therefore, where ever business institutions falter, action is taken to regulate them thus safeguarding people's interest. Due to this public regulation business enterprise feels concerned with social responsibility.
- Pressure of Labour Movement: Since labour has become far more educated and organized and that labour moment has become powerful, business enterprises are forced to pay due regard to the welfare of workers instead of following a policy of 'hire and fire' under which they could deal with workers at their will.
- Impact of Consumer Consciousness: Consumer is now conscious of his right and power in determining market forces due to the awareness created by the media and education. The principal followed these days by business enterprises is 'customer is king' which has replaced the old principal of caveat emptor (or let the buyer beware).
- Development of Social Standard for Business: New social standards consider business activity to be profit oriented as well to serve social needs. No business can be done in isolation from society. Society permits business to exist and grow and it is on the basis of social standards that business functioning is to be ultimately judged.
- Development of Business Education: Development of business education has created an increased awareness among the people and helped them to have become more sensitive towards social issues.
- Relationship between Social Interest and Business Interest: Business enterprises have started realising the fact that social interest and business interest are not contradictory but are complementary to each other. The feeling that business can grow only through exploitation of society has given way to the belief that long-term benefit of business lies in serving the society well.
- Development of Professional, Managerial Class: Management universities and institutes have helped to create separate class of professional managers who have got a different attitude towards social responsibility. Professional managers are more interested in satisfying the society for running their enterprises successfully than merely following profit goals. They have combined together with a number of other social and economic forces to make business a socioeconomic activity. While there is no denial of the fact that business is essentially an economic enterprise and that it must ultimately justify itself on economic performance, it is also true that business is an organ of society and as such it must justify its continuance by fulfilling its roles and responsibilities of society.