I read an interesting article today in a business magazine. The article's author was asking the question: Should a company, large or small, focus on making a profit or serving society.....or strike a balance by doing both?
He highlighted a few companies that for the first years of their existence, sometimes as many as a dozen years, they only focused on making a profit. Only after they were established did they start to divert some of their profits to more social undertakings, such as corporate sponsorships of charity events or being better custodians of the environment.
His point was that a company cannot "give back" if it doesn't have anything to give back. Would that term "anything" have a number or a percentage? At what point do profits become obscene? Can a company make "obscene" profits (meaning a lot of people want their product or service) and still give a lot back to social undertakings?
And where do stockholders and stakeholders fit?
This Bear doesn't have answers to these questions. I understand the term "profit". I know what a company "should" do to be socially responsible. I just can't figure out where a balance would be.