Business Of Business Is Business

The business of business is business. Discuss.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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People often talk about how businesses should have a "social conscience."  They mean that businesses should act in ways that are meant to promote some greater societal good.  This quote is saying that that is a silly notion -- instead, the only reason for a firm to exist is to do business.

I agree with this statement, at least for publicly traded companies.  If a company issues stock, its only real responsibility is to make money for its shareholders.  Of course, it must obey laws along the way, but its responsibility is to make as much money as...

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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krishna-agrawala | Student

The word business has may different meanings. Answer to this question will very much depend on the meaning of the word in each of the three places it is used in the question. This is not clear from the question itself. So I will interpret it in a way that appears to be most appropriate to me.

I believe the intended meaning  of the statement:

The business of business is business.

is that business (work) of a business (an enterprise engaged in commercial activities) is business (commercial activities such as buying and selling). The last use of the word business also implies that the commercial activities are undertaken for the purpose of making profit.

When taken in this sense, the validity of the statement is obvious. If an enterprise qualifies as a business because it is engaged in commercial activities, there can be no doubt that it primary work must be to engage in commercial activities. A responsible business enterprise may pay attention to to non-commercial objectives and activities also. But such work done by it is in addition to its main work. No enterprise qualifies as a business enterprise if it does no commercial work for the purpose of making profit.

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