David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 72 (4):359 - 374 (2007)
In the economic literature on the firm, especially in the transaction–cost tradition, a sharp distinction is drawn between so-called “market transactions” and “administered transactions.” This distinction is of enormous importance for business ethics, since market transactions are governed by the competitive logic of the market, whereas administered transactions are subject to the cooperative norms that govern collective action in a bureaucracy. The widespread failure to distinguish between these two types of transactions, and thus to distinguish between adversarial and non-adversarial relations, has led many business ethicists to develop a “uniform” moral code. Yet in market transactions, the checks and balances built into the system of commercial exchange are such as to permit more instrumental forms of behavior. In administered transactions, by contrast, these checks and balances are absent, and thus the institutional context calls for much greater exercise of moral restraint. In this paper, I begin the task of developing an adversarial ethic for business. According to this view, the competitive environment licenses a greater range of “self-interested” behavior, but also imposes its own constraints on the strategies that firms may adopt in the pursuit of their interests.
|Keywords||adversarial ethics competition market failure corporate social responsibility philosophy of sport|
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Citations of this work BETA
Pierre-Yves Néron (2010). Business and the Polis: What Does It Mean to See Corporations as Political Actors? [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 94 (3):333-352.
Maurice Hamington (2009). Business is Not a Game: The Metaphoric Fallacy. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 86 (4):473 - 484.
Wayne Norman (2011). Business Ethics as Self-Regulation: Why Principles That Ground Regulations Should Be Used to Ground Beyond-Compliance Norms as Well. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 102 (S1):43-57.
Joseph Heath (2011). Business Ethics and the 'End of History' in Corporate Law. Journal of Business Ethics 102 (S1):5-20.
Dominic Martin (2013). The Contained-Rivalry Requirement and a 'Triple Feature' Program for Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 115 (1):167-182.
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