Business, Government, and Society: Critics of Business

Words: 586
Topic: Business & Economics

The chapter Critics of Business of the book Business, Government, and Society: A Managerial Perspective discusses the emergence and development of the concept of business criticism from medieval times to the present. The concept of business criticism originated from the belief that businesses were established with the main aim of making profits other than offering quality services and products to satisfy people’s needs. In addition, it emanated from the idea that society was suffering a lot due to forces of economic development. Business criticism dates back to the Romans and Greeks.

For instance, Greek philosophers maintained that running a business with the aim of making a profit was unethical (Steiner & Steiner, 2012). They argued that profit-seeking was the main cause of corruption and greed in society. Many philosophers viewed business as a way of satisfying people’s greed. Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus argued that true riches comprised inner peace and not material possessions. The concept of business criticism is prevalent in modern society because of religious influence. The protestant ethic advocates for saving, prodigality, and sobriety. These precepts are contrary to the idea of operating a business in order to create wealth (Steiner & Steiner, 2012).

During medieval times, Catholicism condemned the business concept of earning interest by lending money. Some business critics have cited the idea of capitalism as the main reason for widespread poverty. In the U.S., populists advocated for ownership of railroads and banks by the government in order to foster economic development. Other types of critics included progressives and socialists (Steiner & Steiner, 2012). Progressives are divided into old and new progressives. New progressives advocated for corporate reforms. Globally, activists use several channels to criticize businesses. These include consumer boycotts, corporate campaigns, shareholder attacks, and harassment.

The chapter provides useful information that explains the development of business criticism since medieval days. In modern society, many people do business with the main aim of making profits and creating wealth. They ignore the importance of providing quality products and services to consumers. The chapter has taught me several things, including the origin of the concept of business criticism, and its importance to business and economic development. I have also learned the role that the various business critics played in the development of the business world. For instance, populists were the main advocates for the abandonment of the gold standard as the main currency.

Many countries of the world embrace capitalism because it encourages individual economic development that is vital for global economic development. The chapter also taught me about the various tides the business world encountered before gaining stability. The various wars of the 19th Century had a critical role to play in shaping the business environment. The information covered in the chapter is important because it aids in determining the type of personalities, business concepts, and issues to expect in the future. The information connects to current business in various ways. For instance, technology and unions are critical issues that affect the contemporary business world. The information shows the origin and emergence of business criticism and the role it has played in the development of business. Today, many nations embrace capitalism as opposed to socialism.

Capitalist countries are more economically advanced than in socialist countries. On the other hand, industrial capitalism is a key force in the modern business environment. It had a great influence on the development of the economies of developed countries. In the modern world, industrial capitalism has contributed to the rapid growth of economies such as China and Japan.


Steiner, J., & Steiner, G. (2012). Business, Government, and Society: A Managerial Perspective, Text, and Cases (13th ed). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Web.