Interactions among business, government, and society are infinite and their meaning is open to interpretation. Faced with this complexity, many people use simple mental models to impose order and meaning on what they observe. These models are like prisms, each having a different refractive quality, each giving the holder a different view of the world. Depending on the model (or prism) used, a person will think differently about the scope of business power in society, criteria for managerial decisions, the extent of corporate responsibility, the ethical duties of managers, and the need for regulation.
The following four models are basic alternatives for seeing the BGS relationship. As abstractions …show more content…
In Smith's day producers and sellers were individuals and small businesses managed by their owners. Later, by the late 1800s and early 1900s, throughout the industrialized world, the type of economy described by Smith had evolved into a system of managerial capitalism. In it the innumerable, small, owner-run firms that animated Smith's marketplace were overshadowed by a much smaller number of dominant corporations run by hierarchies of salaried managers. These managers had limited ownership in their companies and worked for shareholders. This form of capitalism has now spread throughout the world. Nowhere does it work exactly like Smith's theory. Nevertheless, the market capitalism model continues to exist as an ideal against which to measure practice.
The model incorporates important assumptions. One is that government interference in economic life is slight. This is called laissez-faire, a term first used by the French to mean that government should “let us alone.” It stands for the belief that government intervention in the market is undesirable. It is costly because it lessens the efficiency with which free enterprise operates to benefit consumers. It is unnecessary because market forces are benevolent and, if liberated, will channel economic resources to meet society’s needs. It is for governments, not businesses, to correct social problems. Therefore, managers should define company interests