Social responsibility for today’s business students involves the authentic understanding of financial institutions and money markets. I say this because prior to the current financial crisis, there was a large number of young ambitious business minded individuals who were more focused on gaining personal capital than contributing to society. This can be seen with the popularity of credit default swaps, short selling stocks, shady hedge funds, and high interest loans given to individuals with incredibly poor credit scores.
The concept of greed and how it dominates business creates the necessity for social responsibility. For example, while it may be lucrative to open a liquor store in an impoverished neighborhood known for a community of individuals suffering from alcoholism, it would be socially responsible to open a grocery store, or business that would employ people from the community and draw retailers and financial institutions to establish other businesses as well.
While it may be lucrative and promising for a young trader’s career to just pick a random stock and convince one investor to buy while another investor to sell, and to just receive the commission on the one who wins out, it would be socially responsible for that trader to just do his due diligence and study up on the market to know what he’s selling. The conflict of what is socially responsible is very complex for business students as they are partly all motivated by competition and finding every possible advantage to succeed.
Currently, one could argue that there is little to know social responsibility practiced in western business today. If there were, then there would be no need for the government constantly having to step in and regulate corporations, or pass laws to prevent monopolies. All of capitalism is just endless new businesses all fighting to be the largest monopoly over the rest. In this case, maybe social responsibility is to value the contribution and influence companies make on their communities enough so that money is not their first priority.