The study of business government and society

In chapter one the author lays a foundation for the information which will be shared in the following chapters. This foundation allows the reader to understand basic terminology, ideas, and relationships as it pertains to the operation of business, government and society. For a more distinct explanation of what the author helps the reader to understand; the collaborative information that the chapter provides illustrates a somewhat intangible relationship, in which we (business, government, and society) all are stakeholders.

The author helps the reader understands the interactions of the stakeholders, and these interactions shape how business’ assumes social responsibility; whether it is self imposed, dictated by law/regulation, or pressured by social values, ideas, and expectations. The author then offers four definitive relational models which helps the reader understand the multiple variables which help shape and control the relationship between business and society. In addition, the models also help the reader to understand the effects, the value added, and the challenges that are imposed on those parts of society which assume them.

One interesting thought for the reader to keep in mind when learning the four models is how the nature of the models can vary based local and national politics, market maturity, and social structure. The first model that author presents is the Market Capitalism Model. In my opinion, this model is the foundation or the genesis of all the relationship models because it is in essence the motivation of business interaction. According to the author this model was birthed out of the basic human instinct to trade good/services in order to make a means to survive. page 9) I understand the primary goal in business is to make a profit but ultimately business want to make a profit in order for the people who operate it can survive. The author goes on to explain how this characteristic went on to reconcile the supply and demand as it relates to pricing; which we see even in today’s economy. What I’d wish the author would’ve made more evident was how this model relates to the social forces spoken of earlier in the chapter i. e. ; values, and social ideology.

This kind of clear connection would help the reader to better understand how the model relates to social responsibility and ethics as a whole from more of a social viewpoint. For example, illustrating how the introduction of competition could’ve also cause unethical practices amongst competitors. This would’ve created a great introduction of the next though on government interference in the market. Nonetheless, I digress. For the most part up unto this point I completely agreed on how the Market Capitalism Model reflects the business environment of the US.

I do believe that is why the US grew leaps and bounds during the Industrial Revolution when there was less governmental interference. However, I believe that in a more modern day America, making the “assumption” or “concluding” that “government regulation should be limited” is unrealistic and partly untrue. If we only reflect on the beginning of the decline of the US economy with the Enron scandal, and how that led to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

And even more recently the political divide about business and the new Consumer Protection Agency, tax breaks for the wealthy, and lobbying. Not only is government regulation present in today’s society but it is also very much needed. Another Model mentioned was the Dominance Mode , typically business critics associate the BGS with this model. This model suggests that the business and government dominates the great mass of people. (Page 11) This model usually leaves the wealthy and elite in control. The author shares an example of this model with the Standard Oil monopoly.

They’re monopoly was broken up once the government found it unlawful for one company to control so much of the industry. Though it would be a tough argument to make, I would say that although there’re multiple media networks, and production studios, America’s media is very resembling to the Dominance Model. Think about it, there always seems to be a political twist to how the media present information. Although there are multiple media companies, most of them are subsidiaries of some major media conglomerate, and if not subsidiaries then, affiliates.

We all know that it’s no conspiracy theory that the government controls information that’s provided to the public which why we never really got the complete picture what happened the immediate months preceding 9/11. What I’ve also found interesting about this model is the activity of populism. I can see how this could cause business to react in a desired way if the “movement” was large enough to be of concern. Populism has proved somewhat affective in recent political history with the “Tea Bagger”, and the “Occupy” movements.

Both movements stirred up quite a bit of political pressure, causing our nation’s leader to respond. The Countervailing Model in my opinion is the most reflective of the relationship of business, government, and society (BGS) here in the United States. The model takes into account social, environmental, business, and governmental forces as influencers of business. We see this in effect with everything we do; cell phones have become major appendages to human life, and now automakers are responding by equipping their automobiles with Bluetooth capabilities.

These features are makes these vehicles more convenient, safe, desirable, and competitive, and answers all the countervailing forces. I like this model because it promotes innovation and competitiveness, while still answering the demands of governmental regulations. Lastly, the Stakeholder Model, seems to be most controversial because while some argue it to be the model which leads businesses to be the most socially responsible to the world, other argue that it places to many demands for one company to answer to.

This latter thought is quite imaginable in my opinion because the Stakeholder Model holds a business to the standards of many different people, entities, and groups. The responsibility of serving so many different interests could very easily leave a business powerless. I would have to agree with those who oppose this model because when a business operates in such a way, it’s no longer business to make a profit but to yet to satisfy the expectations of its stakeholders.

Many who are for the model may feel that it is the perfect attempt at preventing a more capitalistic approach to business. My response to that rational is that too much of even, a good thing can be very harmful. Think about it, realistically allowing every possible stakeholder to have a voice is definitely counterproductive because stakeholders can range from your everyday “Joe” who has no business savvy to an environmentalist who thinks that if it didn’t come from a plant that is unsafe. There is not goo rationale in it.

This is why business hire educated professionals to determine how to act within the best interest of the survival of the company while maintaining social responsibility where it matters most. It is impossible to please everyone all the time, someone will suffer! In closing, I appreciate the author presenting the information in such a way to allow the reader to be able to form his/her own conclusion. However, I feel that that author could have taken more opportunities to make the information more cohesive, allowing the reader to understand how all the sub-topics to relate.

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