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Business, Government, and Society: A Managerial Perspective

The third chapter of the book ‘Business, Government and Society’ is identified as ‘Business Power.’ The chapter uses a historical concept to establish the essence of business power in the society. In Particular, it narrates the basic history of one, James B. Duke. He was born on 23rd December, 1856. At the age of fourteen, he had established a small factory. He made a unique brand of chewing tobacco with the help of approximately 20 workers (Steiner, 2012). In the year 1883, he harnessed contract for a cigarette rolling machine which enabled him to expand sales to china. At a later date, 1884, he managed to clinch Rockefeller-methods and initiated the American Tobacco Trust. Ideally, his success was driven by his love for business. Precisely, he made substantial sales.

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Ideally, business-power is the strength in the rear of any of the actions carried out by any entity. The chapter describes the nature of business power. Accordingly, it depicts that the companies within the developing industries alter three primary elements of the society. They include the institutions, ideas and material things (Steiner, 2012). In addition, the chapter illustrates that there are different levels, as well as, spheres of corporate power. The levels are either surface-levels or deep-levels. However, they can be further grouped into economic power, technological power, political power, legal power, power on individuals and environmental power.

The chapter uses ‘the story of the Railroads’ to indicate the impact of business power. Ideally, it implies that it caused affirmative changes on the capital markets, as well as, the political arena. In addition, the chapter indicates that there are two perspectives that are based on business power. These perspectives include the Dominance and Pluralist Theories (Steiner, 2012). The dominance theory implies that corporate assets concentration instills oligopoly or monopoly within the market that minimize competition. On the other hand, Pluralist Theory implies that there is a balance check. Pluralist theory supports democracy.

Personal reflection

Superlatively, business has a history of transforming lives. For instance, it has a history of redefining people’s dreams and goals. It has the affirmative impact of making it possible for people and economies to achieve their goals (Steiner, 2012). Indeed, the resources within the past and current market history have been exhaustively utilized by newly initiated business entities. Preferably, the pluralist theory is deemed to be the best option when it comes to global investment. It derives democratic rights for the investors freely to invest without any active restrictions. Unlike dominant perspective of business power, pluralism encourages diversity of occupation over vast geographical dimensions. In particular, people feel free to engage in different occupational activities from different areas.

Business power is legitimate when it serves the right purpose in the society. In particular, it is legitimate when it is used by the investors to acquire vast market. However, it is not legitimate when it serves a discriminatory role in the investment world. According to the chapter 3, James’s success was triggered by the freedom develop business ideas and invest in them.

Conclusively, most economies within the world have embraced pluralism in investment. Most large companies in the current market structure have a history of dominance. However, different countries have changed their policies regarding such companies. Most of these companies have had excessive power and influence. However, current trends with the United States and other countries have discouraged this dominance. Instead, the powers delegated to any emergent or long-existing companies are issued with the objective of attaining public wellbeing.


Steiner, G. A., & Steiner, J. F. (2012). Business, government, and society: A managerial perspective (13th ed.). New York, US: McGraw Hill.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 25). Business, Government, and Society: A Managerial Perspective.

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