I like Lauri Ranta's AppleScript answer. I was working on such a thing for myself to be able to use the Finder to locate a folder and create a git repository in a directory selected in the Finder.
I can see where you may want to call the make command on a folder as well.
It seems to me that it would be nice to be able to use the Finder's GUI and that you might want to do a lot of things with the selected directory.
Connect to Selected Directory
I think that this Automator Service is more general than issuing any kind of command for a directory inside of the AppleScript and it gets you ready to enter whatever shell command that you want to.
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I'm sorry, my post above didn't answer the original question. Here is a link to an Automator workflow saved as a Service that runs the make command on the directory selected in the Finder:
I tried this new service of mine and I didn't like it because sometimes you may want to do the shell command "make" and other times you may want to do the shell command "make && make install", or you may want to build a different target "make fullbuild" or something. That's why I was thinking that a service called "Connect to Selected Directory" would be best.