Essays on The Friedman View of Corporate Social Responsibility Coursework

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "The Friedman View of Corporate Social Responsibility " is a great example of management coursework.   Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be viewed as the process that aims to embrace company’ s actions responsibility as well as encourage a positive impact through its activities on the employees, stakeholders, environment and consumers among others (Smith 2008). In this case, therefore, it is vital to note the inimitable role borne by the pharmaceutical industry is one of its kind in terms of the duality of the roles it is meant to play, developing and distributing life-saving products in a profit-making model.

Concerns about the safety of products have resulted in a high level of regulation of the sector to ensure utmost ethical standards (Wood 1991). Talking points often emerge from these two seemingly two conflicting mandates coupled with the giant size, financial strength and influence wielded by these companies. Luckily, as these multinationals grow public awareness of businesses’ role to better the society they operate on has equally grown. Despite heavy criticism, this sector has managed to participate actively in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

This report will explain and evaluate the broad maximal view of CSR, explanation of the socioeconomic view of CSR including the moral minimum and affirmative duty to prevent harm within Kew Garden Principles and finally, the explanation and evaluation of the case in relation to Milton Friedman’ s view of CSR. The Friedman view of Corporate Social Responsibility (Narrow View of CSR) Friedman opened a debate that still continues to date after his article for New York Magazine claiming that the core role of businesses is to make profits slide 14. It sounded rather insensitive to all those who perhaps depended on companies as employees and beneficiaries of charitable activities by businesses at the time (Glassdoor 2013).

Nevertheless, there was a critical point he made that CSR activities could distract companies from their core activities and turn them into non-profit making entities which only make enough money to survive rather than grow (Friedman 1970) slide 14-18. In the context of pharmaceuticals, a company that seeks too much public good today risk ignoring research and development of tomorrow’ s solutions. This point is often ignored by critics of Friedman’ s article but Friedman had a point. Secondly, there is a risk in letting pharmaceuticals deviate too much from their core mandate and it stems from their size of annual turnover (Friedman 1970).

A large pharmaceutical could easily turn into a political organization which could even hold people for ransom owing to the sensitivity of their activities. Regulations are for that reason of importance paramount in the sector (Smith 2008). Milton Friedman in the same article (1970) claimed that the core social responsibility is to make profits but in an honest manner slide 14-18.

To Friedman, a business that was not involved in fraud could be regarded as socially responsible. The inherent responsibility for pharmaceuticals, therefore, is to guarantee the best quality possible for their products and reasonable pricing for the same. It is therefore sickening to note the kind of insane profit margins made by the pharmaceuticals on drugs while people in Africa are dying since they cannot afford them.


Carroll, A 2000, A commentary and an overview of key questions on corporate social performance measurement, Business and Society, vol. 39, no. 4, p. 466-479.

Friedman, M 1970, The Social Responsibility of Businesses is to Increase its Profits, New York Magazine.

Glassdoor 2013, Johnson & Johnson reviews, and-Johnson-Reviews-E364.htm Accessed on (17th April 17, 2013)

Gorsky, A 2012, 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. Johnson & Johnson, p. 3-6

Kotler, L 2005, Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause, New York, Wiley.

Kitzmueler, M 2010, Economic Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility, Florence, European University Institute.

Milternberg, B 2013, How much the most reputable companies spend in CSR,, (Accessed on 17th April 2013).

New Jersey News 2012, Johnson & Johnson answers criticism and concern about ingredients in its baby products, (Accessed on 17th April 2013)

Pfizer 2013, Pfizer: Responsibility, (Accessed on 17th April 2013)

Smith, A 2008, Corporate Social Responsibility in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Business Strategy Series, vol. 9, no. 6, p. 306-315.

Solomon, R 1992, Corporate Roles, Personal Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach to Business Ethics, Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 3, p. 317–340.

Wood, D 1991, Corporate Social Performance Revisited, Academy of Management Review, vol. 16, 4, p. 691-718.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us