Affirmative action and redistributive ethics

Journal of Business Ethics 5 (1):73 - 77 (1986)
Abstract
Management faces complex race related issues in which groups arguing entitlement appear to claim benefits historically enjoyed by others. Thus many affirmative action issues provoke animosity because they are framed as zero sum problems. To some extent they are zero sum. Therefore, rationales for corporate policy must address that forthrightly. Up to now the corporate justification has been weak. The article describes a social debt owed interracially resulting from the accumulation of current class benefits from past discrimination, and asserts that affirmative action policies have a firm ethical basis inasmuch as they are affectively redistributing benefits to pay the social debt
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