Social Responsibility as Fulfilment

Social Responsibility as Fulfilment

Social Responsibility as Fulfilment of the Manager Role

Of the four techniques of social control, spontaneous field control is the most compatible with the UK value system. As we saw in the last website, we favour informal and non-authoritarian mechanisms of social control in this country.

Therefore, if a control technique is necessary, we naturally prefer a spontaneous field control rather than a command method of control because it seems least like control. For this reason we have preferred competition as the primary form of economic control; and when competition declined in significance, another form of spontaneous field control developed naturally to supplement it.

Adam Smith was the first to grasp the potentialities of economic co-ordination through spontaneous competitive controls. His idea of competition as the "invisible hand" better characterized his understanding of control than the "hands off" approach of laissez faire. In his Wealth of Nations, he attempted to demonstrate the superiority of the spontaneous field control of competition over the manipulated field control of command.

Unfortunately his insight did not extend into other forms of spontaneous field control, and most economists ever since have closed their minds to the possibility that any others exist.

Competition when viewed as a form of spontaneous field control is a way of controlling the businessman by spontaneous alteration of his field. "As a seller, the businessman is spontaneously controlled by the possibility open to his customers to spend their funds on other products rather than accept his low price. If a customer attempts to deliberately influence the seller by threatening to buy from someone else unless he lowers the price, this would be a case of manipulated field control. Generally, however, the buyer's control over the seller is a by-product of his ability to quietly turn from him to another seller who offers a more desirable good or a lower price. to control a seller, not all buyers need turn to substitutes. All that is required is a substantial loss of sales at the margin.

This type of spontaneous field control still exists, of course, despite the rise of big business. But the corporate and managerial revolutions have rendered it less effective than it used to be. Sales promotion, advertising, and product changes have succeeded in differentiating the seller's product sufficiently, in many cases, to reduce the range of substitute products in the buyer's field. Furthermore, in industries dominated by a few giants, prices are set by administrative decision rather than the spontaneous pricing mechanism of the market.

This study has taken the position that when competition became less effective as a spontaneous field control, it was natural that some other form of spontaneous field control developed to supplement it because of the UK value orientation. to be sure, many other control techniques have been employed. Antitrust and public utility regulation have had some success as forms of command control. Public planning schemes have operated as manipulated field controls. But because of our opposition to authoritarian means of control and our dedication to control processes that are so ubiquitous and invisible that they are part of the landscape, it was highly likely that another form of spontaneous field control would develop to supplement competition.

We said the most satisfactory interpretation of social responsibility for analytical purposes is that of the manager fulfilling the expectations of his social role, composed of related statuses, each of which has an associated role. The role is a cluster of norms, an interrelated set of standards of Behaviour 'which how the person performing the role is expected to behave. The role player comes into contact with many other role players in many different social subsystems (e.g., the family, church, lodge, business). These other role players act on his field. Those with whom he interacts regularly exercise manipulated field control over him, and those with whom he does not interact regularly exercise spontaneous field control over him. Competitors, bankers, government officials, union leaders, and members of the board of directors exercise manipulated field control over the manager. But many others (e.g., ministers, professors, journalists, politicians, television stars, his children`s' friends) also act on his field unintentionally.

The significance of this form of spontaneous field control is that the manager is continuously exposed to incoming stimuli which give him a broad picture of what life is like in the United States and offer clues about how he is to fit into it. In short, all these incoming clues and bits of information give him some insight into the content of his role as manager. He takes this information seriously (whether he knows it or not) because it is relevant to his expectations about rewards and deprivations. If he were to go contrary to the direction of social change, he might be able to get away with it for awhile; but eventually he would lose his position, power, prestige, and income. Therefore, to be socially responsible from the Behavioural point of view means to follow the dictates of society in fulfilling the obligations associated with the status of manager.


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