Thursday, February 22, 2007

Corporate Social Responsibility: Indian IT Industry

Nobel economist Amartya Sen made a JFK-esque speech asking the IT industry what it had done for India. His point was not that the IT industry isn’t doing anything for the economy at large, but that it should do ‘much more’. Indeed, Sen argues, given that it has benefited from the country’s contributions to its development, the industry should have a ’sense of obligation’ to do much more.

The IT industry’s primary obligation is to its shareholders and customers. It will be doing its bit for the country as long as it does this with efficiency and excellence. Of course, corporations, like citizens may want to do good for the society they are a part of. But they have no moral or legal obligation to do so. In a country where a communal socialist government is not only unwilling to unshackle restrictive labour laws that hurt both employers and employees but is also attempting to impose community-based quotas on private companies, the use of the word obligation must be treated with extraordinary care.

From
The India Economy Blog.

1 Comments:

At 2/22/2007 10:38 AM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

“The IT industry’s primary obligation is to its shareholders and customers. It will be doing its bit for the country as long as it does this with efficiency and excellence. Of course, corporations, like citizens may want to do good for the society they are a part of. But they have no moral or legal obligation to do so.”

A little rewording of the above quotation concisely illustrates my argument below for some type of worker organization (labor unions . . . ).

P1: Corporation’s primary obligation is to its shareholders and customers. Corporations may want to do good for their employees if, and only if, it advances their primary obligation. However, they have no moral or legal obligation to do so and may flaunt any and all laws if it is more cost-effective to pay the fines than obey the law: morals are subjective and penalties are often cheaper than compliance.

P2: Management and workers oftentimes operate in a conflicting environment. It’s a fact: that’s just how capitalism operates.

Conclusion: Since human lives’ and health can be quantified to satisfy the premises above, labor unions are necessary because workers require an organization where they are the primary and not a secondary concern.

 

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