A Puff of Smoke, a Hole in the Pocket, Fissure in the Lungs and Profit in Millions
Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, 2019, 23(3), 309-318
Posted: 30 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 2, 2018
The idea that business is a medium to deliver goods and services in lieu of profits is outmoded. The triple bottom line (Profit, People, and Planet) approach is no longer a buzzword. It is a reality and a pressing need.There is no denying the fact that Corporate India too has embraced the philosophy of ‘doing well by doing good’. All appears hunky dory when cash rich and highly profitable firms are hailed for being socially responsible organizations. However, at times the situation may be ironical.An organization, seen as an epitome of altruism is engaged in the manufacturing of a legal, albeit potentially harmful product. Any organization in the cigarette industry would fit this bill to perfection.
Business schools globally have revisited their course curriculum with increased focus on sustainability. Varun Chopra, on his day one of MBA induction program, has been confronted with a fundamental question; why do organizations exist? The answer to the complex question has to be examined through the lens of different stakeholders.Is there a simple answer as the interests of different stakeholders may be divergent? Scouting for an answer to this question in the cigarette industry draws attention to the need to juxtapose economic, social and environmental objectives.
Keywords: Objective Function of Firm, Business and Society, CSR
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