The first of three debates that I wrote for a business class a few years ago. The purpose of the assignment was to debate a business issue in less 200 words. I hope some Business Administration students will find this helpful.
Debate 1: Is it personal? or is it just business?
Mr. Speaker, we are here today to debate the resolution that it is not personal, it is just business. As side opposition, we do not support this resolution and believe strongly that it must fail.
“Business is business,” executives say, implying businesses are nameless, faceless, profit-making machines. “It’s not personal. It’s business,” serves as the all-purpose rationalization for “downsizing,” improving the “ROI,” and fiduciary duty to shareholders.
Is the purpose of a business to make profit with utter disregard to its social responsibilities? Is it in the interest of a business to operate without considering its impact on the environment? Is it beneficial for a business to neglect the welfare of its employees, and the community at large, as long as it’s profitable? The answer is no.
Businesses should be responsible towards their employees, their communities, and the societies of which they are part. A few of the benefits of being socially responsible are enhanced brand image and reputation; increased sales and customer loyalty; reduced regulatory oversight; and more ability to attract and retain employees. Case studies conducted by the IIDS, confirm that communities will reject businesses who are not good neighbours.
Besides being responsible towards their communities, businesses need to be responsible towards the environment. By buying locally, reducing the use of non-renewable resources, using recycled materials and minimizing packaging, businesses will not only reduce their impact on the environment; they will also cut production costs. In a report, the EDA concluded that “Going green can be both environmentally and economically beneﬁcial.”
Side opposition, Mr. Speaker, would like to thank the House for its time and, for the reasons stated, reiterate that we believe strongly this resolution must stand fail.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
BusinessLink.gov.uk. Corporate social responsibility and your business.
Retrieved from http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1075408480
International Institute for Sustainable Development. Corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Retrieved from http://www.iisd.org/business/issues/sr.aspx
Economic Development Agency (2008). Beneﬁts of Going Green.
Retrieved from www.eda.gov/PDF/EDAAmericaSummer2008.pdf