The Hershey Company donates millions of dollars every year to charitable organizations, including the Children’s Miracle Network. The Children’s Miracle Network helps to support the Children’s Hospital at the Hershey Medical Center, so the donations that Hershey gives help children and families that are close to home. Freeman would agree with this type of giving. Many of the sick children that must stay at the hospital cannot pay for their treatment on their own. According to Freeman, it is a social responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves in situations such as these, and businesses must do their part in providing that help. Without Hershey’s contributions, many of these children would not be able to get the treatment that they need to improve their help. This kind of social help is what Freeman says is the responsibility of businesses.
Friedman, on the other hand, would argue that it is not The Hershey Company employees that should be making these donations. They should focus on making as large a profit as they can for the company, and allow the owners to allocate the money where they prefer. He would argue that it is not in the owners’ best interest for the company to make these donations because it takes money out of their pockets. This type of consciousness towards social responsibility is much more focused on the interests of stakeholders than it is on shareholders. Stakeholders, such as sick children in the community, are receiving the benefits of these donations, while shareholders lose out on profit.
Hershey Company Corporate Social Responsibility Scorecard: http://www.thehersheycompany.com/assets/pdfs/hersheycompany/scorecard2012.pdf
(Page 9 has information on the company’s community outreach)