Word Count of Reflection: 521 words
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Speaker’s Name: Waheed Hussain
Title of Talk: Resisting the Ethical Consumer
Date of Talk: October 21st, 2014
The main point that Waheed Hussain pursued during his lecture was that social change belongs in the political arena and that businesses should not be responsible for their customers’ social preferences. He expressed that businesses should instead only focus on their customers’ price-quality preferences, unless a proto-legislative process has occurred.
I disagree with this viewpoint because I believe that consumers have a powerful way of raising their voice through their purchasing decisions. Corporations should be aware of this and should continuously strive to meet their customers’ preferences and expectations. It’s important that the Economic viewpoint of corporate social responsibility (CSR) isn’t the only method that’s used in business practices. Large businesses may often times use cost-reducing strategies that result in damaging consequences; they may also support beliefs that consumers don’t share. By using their purchasing power, consumers can decide to continue or discontinue supporting practices and beliefs such as these. A strong show of public support (or lack thereof) gives businesses a way to evaluate their practices and either continue these same practices or make modifications when necessary.
The Social Web model of CSR suggests that corporations are just like any other member of society; they must conform to the everyday ethical duties and obligations that everyday individuals face. (p.223) This helps reiterate the idea that focusing on only price-quality objectives is simply not enough. Corporations should be concerned with the social preferences of consumers because corporations are also part of the same society that they are catering and delivering to. Although creating wealth and profits at a reasonable price for consumers is important, it does not overrule ethical responsibilities. According to the textbook, CSR is described as actions that businesses can be held responsible for. (p.218) If corporations only focused on price-quality preferences,