Business as a Social Service

When you think of entities that provide social services, businesses don’t often come to mind. Usually you may think of non-profits and government organizations who have explicit missions to provide a social service. However does any and every business, simply by virtue of existing within an economy, providing a product, and being an employer, provide a social service? Even regardless of the product, mission, or working conditions of the business? It seems that the more business there are that exist and provide work opportunities and products, the better for everyone. However is this always true? For example, you often hear about the poor working conditions and low wages for workers in the textile industry in Bangladesh, or electronics manufacturers in China. These sweatshop factories, and the companies that own them, seem deplorable, however may there be some merit in their existence? Many argue that they actually provide the first step for bettering work opportunities and living conditions in these societies. So those business are in fact providing a social service to the area, and so perhaps every businesses does in fact provide a social service for those that are touched either by their employment or products.

Does every business provide a social service or do there exist businesses that society would truly be better off without?