Milton Friedmans argument on social responsibility

Milton Friedmans argument on social responsibility within the corporate world has a viewpoint that implies businesses should more about profits than social responsibility. “Social responsibility of business is merely to increase its profits.” (Schafer 2007).


BP, it appears to me was the parent company and had managerial control over the Deepwater Horizon rig which was owned and majorly operated by Transocean. Halliburton installed the faulty cement cap that failed control the explosive gas as it entered the drilling well, triggering the explosion.


After reading through different articles and watching videos, I believe not having an effective emergency management plan and the lack of oversite of safety protocols was the main problem. As it applies to Milton Friedman’s argument I think BP’s actions were in line with them, for example, BP sought to place blame on Transocean and Halliburton in the media while in court saying they take all responsibility.


BP’s actions are in line with Corporate Libertarianism, they believe that companies should seek profits rather than solve social problems, prioritize shareholder benefits, even if it could cause economic or social losses for supplementary stakeholders. For instance, a company with libertarianism views might try to increase its profits by manipulating legal and ethical loopholes thinking that ends will be used to justify the means.


Korten, D. (January 2015) When Corporations Rule the World, pg 19 The Living Economies Forum

Verschoor, C (August 2010) Ethics, Strategic Finance Column