For what purpose do enterprises exist? Our founder Konosuke Matsushita believed that the role and mission of an enterprise is to satisfy people's desire to live lives of greater abundance.
In other words, he presumed that the original mission of an enterprise is to contribute to the development of society by supplying products and services of superior quality that are useful in people's lives, at reasonable prices, in appropriate amounts. He believed that the owner of an enterprise with such a mission is not the enterprise itself, but society, and this is expressed in the phrase "a company is a public entity of society."
If one considers an enterprise to be a public entity of society, one concludes that the managerial resources that are necessary to that enterprise, including personnel, capital, land, and materials, have been entrusted to it by society. The enterprise must contribute to society by engaging in activities that make the best use of resources entrusted to it by society, and thereby create surplus value.
In general, there is a view that the purpose of an enterprise is to pursue profit. However, the Panasonic Group considers profit to be something that is given to an enterprise by society as a reward for its contributions, and the greater the contributions, the greater the profit. On the other hand, if an enterprise is not generating profits, it is not fulfilling its social responsibility, or lacks the ability to do so, and should therefore be reformed promptly.
In addition, an enterprise conducts its business while maintaining relationships with customers, business partners, shareholders, society, and numerous other stakeholders. Since an enterprise is a public entity of society, it is not acceptable for it to develop at the expense of its stakeholders. The only way for an enterprise to develop over the long term is to do so along with all of its stakeholders.
For an enterprise to fulfill its social responsibilities, employees play the significant role. In a constantly changing society, it is impossible for an enterprise to fulfill its social responsibilities by continuing to create surplus value for society if its employees do nothing more than perform their assigned tasks. All individuals working in an enterprise must improve their own work on a daily basis, even if only slightly. This will lead to the enhancement and development of people's lifestyles and of society.