David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (2):173-186 (1995)
Social contract is rapidly becoming one of the significant alternatives for analyzing ethical issues in business. Contractarian approachesemphasizing consent as a means of justifying principles can provide needed context for rendering normative judgements conceming economic behaviors. Current research issues include developing tests of consent for both hypothetical and extant social contracts, and empirically testing the assumptions of the major contractarian approaches. Open questions include exploring the relationship between contractarian business ethics and other approaches, such as stakeholder management and virtue based ethics; and analysis of the intersection of contractarian approaches with the findings and assumptions of the field of moral psychology. Finally, the managerial utility of social contract based approaches needs to be explored with emphasis on identifying “translator” concepts
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