There were times when business used to be run only as a sole ownership concern. But today while that institution (sole ownerships)still continues we are witnessing different types of business concerns (partnership firms, public and private limited companies and even multinationals etc) thanks to the revolution in science and technology and tremendous progress in socio-economic and political fields. In keeping with the significant changes in other walks of life business also has been changing its patterns, priorities and perceptions in tune with the times. Maximization of profit used to be the only motto of all business enterprises big or small in the past. This is no longer the case today. No business enterprise can thrive on the profit motive alone for long these days and if it has to succeed business must be conscious and alive to its social responsibility as well.
The once all powerful and all conquering profit motive has been slowly but surely yielding place to a broad based and more enlightened policy of commitment to social welfare measures. The only reason for this turn around could be the instinct for survival . Besides there are certain other factors which have contributed to the growing concern of business for the welfare of society. These factors are:
Growing Awareness due to Education:
With growing literacy rate, more and more people are becoming increasingly aware of their right to a decent and healthy life. They have started analyzing and comparing the goods and services available in the market in terms of quality, purity and cost. Keeping in view the public demand, businessmen have started thinking more in terms of quality and cost of quality and cost effectiveness than in terms of profit alone. Spread of education has helped the business community also to understand their role and the changing patterns in society. They have therefore chosen willy-nilly to adopt the twin objectives of profit and social responsibility in the best interests of both business and society.
Newspapers and Consumer Organizations:
The proliferation of language and dialect newspaper has made it easier and cheaper to reach out to the consumers even in far-flung areas. Besides, of late various consumer organizations have been coming up in urban areas to protect the interests of consumers and to expose the malpractices or bad elements of business with the sole object of enlightening or forewarning the consumers . Due to these developments and of the fear of adverse publicity businessmen have, by and large, learnt to live for the sake of society also in a purposeful and meaningful way, thus keeping a check on their profit motive.
Fear of Government’s Interference
In the event of any business enterprising persisting in its fraudulent or deceitful ways to quench its hunger for more profit, the enlightened public can, through the various means at its command compel the government to introduce a legislation to check the malpractices of a business . The threat of public opinion building up against it and the ever increasing fear of public regulation through legislative measures have left businesses with no other alternative except to fall in line with the demands of society. The avaricious businessmen have been forced to desist from resorting to dubious means to augment profits.
Trade Union Movement:
Well organized Trade Unions have become omnipresent and omnipotent in almost all big business establishments these days. The bargaining power and strength of these Unions keep the Captains of Industry on tenterhooks and ensure that they behave responsibly towards not only employees but also the public at large.
Building up a better public image is essential for any business to survive and grow. Hence enlightened entrepreneurs or professional mangers of today are all locked up in a healthy competition to build up their public image, even if it means lesser and lesser profits.