A businesss responsibilities to its owners and investors as well as to the

A businesss responsibilities to its owners and

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A business’s responsibilities to its owners and investors, as well as to the financial community at large, include maintaining proper accounting procedures, providing all relevant information to investors about the current and projected performance of the firm, and protecting the owners’ rights and investments. In short, the business must maximize the owners’ investment in the firm. 23
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While the owners are indeed important, without employees a business cannot carry out its goals. Employees expect businesses to provide a safe workplace. Congress has passed several laws regulating safety in the workplace, many of which are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employees expect to be paid adequately for their work. Labor unions have made significant contributions to improving wages and benefits as well as achieving safety in the workplace. Workers want equal opportunities for all employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) covers this point. Many Americans today believe business has a social obligation to provide special opportunities for women and minorities to improve their standing in society. 24
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A critical issue in business today is business’s responsibility to customers, who look to business to provide them with satisfying, safe products and to respect their rights as consumers. The activities that independent individuals, groups, and organizations undertake to protect their rights as consumers are known as consumerism . Activities could include writing letters to companies, lobbying government agencies, making public service announcements and boycotting companies deemed irresponsible. 25
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Many of the desires of those involved in the consumer movement have a foundation in John F. Kennedy’s 1962 consumer bill of rights, which highlighted four rights. The right to safety means that a business must not knowingly sell anything that could result in personal injury or harm to consumers. The right to be informed gives consumers the freedom to review complete information about a product before they buy it. The right to choose ensures that consumers have access to a variety of products and services at competitive prices. The right to be heard assures consumers that their interests will receive full and sympathetic consideration when the government formulates policy. The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection exists to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices. 26
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Until the 20th century, people generally thought of the environment solely in terms of how these resources could be harnessed to satisfy their needs for food, shelter, transportation, and recreation. We define sustainability as conducting activities in such as way as to provide for the long-term well-being of the natural environment, including all biological entities. Sustainability involves the interaction among nature and individuals, organizations, and business strategies and includes the assessment and improvement of business strategies, economic sectors, work practices, technologies, and lifestyles, so that they maintain the health of the natural environment.
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