Is the goal of a business simply to maximize profits for its owners? Why or why not?
The goal of a business in in no way only to maximize profits for its owners. Unfortunately this is what different business owners might think which is one of the reasons businesses may not act upon ethical and legal standards. This is how they abuse their own employees and the society overall as they avoid to pay what their employees really deserve. In terms of damage to society, businesses may not care much of the environmental harm they may be causing and focus only on maximizing their profits.
The question here is what actually should he goal of businesses should be? Should they not earn profits? I believe that it is the right of each business to earn profits as they are not declared non-profit charities. But there must be a mechanism inside each business that makes it follow the law of the land. Each business must pay taxes that are necessary to run a country. Then there are ethical standards. Each business must have its defined ethical standards and each of its employee must act upon these standards. Each business should go beyond maximizing profits only and only fulfilling the legal requirements. The concept of moral minimum must be applied that states that (Desjardins, 2014):
“Compliance with the law is insufficient for an ethically responsible business”
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is another area that businesses should consider. CSR refers to the recognition of the social responsibilities by businesses by giving back to the societies that enable them to earn profits from them (McWilliams, 2000). Businesses should contribute in any way possible to the welfare of the society. CSR is a collection of non-profit efforts for the betterment of the society but this can help organization pose a positive face among its customer base.