The market will also balance short-term against long-term considerations in the same way that the employees and shareholders make such considerations. If the market does not get its needs satisfied in one way, it will seek alternative ways. This is the same as saying that the market invests or commits its need to a particular company in anticipation that this need will be satisfied. If the company fails to provide that satisfaction, then commitment is withdrawn. there is a certain amount of inertia or inelasticity within the market, as there is among shareholders and employees, when it comes to change. The man who has bought some equipment that requires specialized parts is, in a way, a captive market for the company selling the equipment. But the market does have flexibility and can change its commitment, and this change in itself can be, of course, an important cause for the decline of a company.
The market is also becoming an increasingly “professional” one. In place of the corner store manager, chain stores have developed that are professional buyers of the goods, wielding considerable purchasing power. The automobile industry sells much of its products to fleet owners and to people operating specialized equipment-once again a professional market. In addition to this, with the rise of consumerism and the various government bureaus dedicated to ensuring that the customer’s rights are protected, the private market itself is becoming professionalized.
Each of these three-shareholder, employee, and market-makes a particular type of commitment. The shareholder commits money, which is the symbol of the social will; the employee commits his skills and know-how; the market commits need. What is important, therefore, is that in the first place a commitment is of particular kind.
Commitment is an act of Will, and the company arises out of this act. Will is the urge to self-realization, and therefore companies arise out of theurge to self-realization of the market, employees, and shareholders. This is tantamount to saying that a company arises out of the urge to self-realization of the society of which that company is a part. Thus, the fundamental reason for a company being a company is to be found in Will.