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Bachelor Thesis, 2015
55 Pages, Grade: 1,1
This bachelor thesis evaluates the very purpose of the existence of business in society. Starting with the conventional motives of profit maximisation and shareholder value for its destined owners, the argument expands towards a broad perspective of business arguing that profit maximisation is not the (sole) purpose of business existence.
The argument is made by looking in conjunction at stakeholder theory and sustainable operations of the firm, stressing that business operations not only out of instrumental, but also normative reasons should incorporate a broad perspective. Evaluating the two different perspectives it is argued that they can be integrated into a concept not compromising each other, but complementing one another and generating shared value for business and society at large.
Taking recent scandals aside, it is fairly surprising that business is seen overly negative in public opinion. Businesses have communicated strongly that profit maximisation is not their sole purpose of operations. Nevertheless, the negative notion towards business persists, stressing the concern that there might be a deeper alienation between business and society at play. This is the starting point for the following analysis. The thesis puts the corporation at its very centre of argumentation intending to shift away from reactionary behaviour created by external pressure, but focusing on the core of business operations, evaluating, how business can deliver superior value for society without compromising the bottom line.
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