David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (4):497-528 (2009)
The use of agency theory remains highly controversial among business ethicists. While some regard it as an essential tool for analyzing and understanding the recent spate of corporate ethics scandals, others argue that these scandals might not even have occurred had it not been for the widespread teaching of agency theory in business schools. This paper presents a qualified defense of agency theory against these charges, first by identifying the theoretical commitments that are essential to the theory (in order to distinguish between agency theory itself and certain incorrect interpretations that have been widely promulgated), and second, by specifying more clearly the different ways that agency theory can be used to analyze relations within the firm. The recommendation that follows from this analysis is that agency theory be used as a critical-diagnostic tool, to identify the points at which both firms and markets will be vulnerable to breakdown in the absence of moral constraint
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
John Hasnas (2013). Whither Stakeholder Theory? A Guide for the Perplexed Revisited. Journal of Business Ethics 112 (1):47-57.
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.
Björn Fasterling & Geert Demuijnck (2013). Human Rights in the Void? Due Diligence in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Journal of Business Ethics 116 (4):799-814.
Michael Gonin, Guido Palazzo & Ulrich Hoffrage (2012). Neither Bad Apple nor Bad Barrel: How the Societal Context Impacts Unethical Behavior in Organizations. Business Ethics 21 (1):31-46.
Dominic Martin (2013). The Contained-Rivalry Requirement and a 'Triple Feature' Program for Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 115 (1):167-182.
Similar books and articles
Neil A. Shankman (1999). Reframing the Debate Between Agency and Stakeholder Theories of the Firm. Journal of Business Ethics 19 (4):319 - 334.
Norman E. Bowie & R. Edward Freeman (eds.) (1992). Ethics and Agency Theory: An Introduction. Oxford University Press.
Edgar Kiser (1999). Comparing Varieties of Agency Theory in Economics, Political Science, and Sociology: An Illustration From State Policy Implementation. Sociological Theory 17 (2):146-170.
Geoff Moore (1999). Corporate Moral Agency: Review and Implications. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 21 (4):329 - 343.
Markus E. Schlosser (2010). Agency, Ownership, and the Standard Theory. In A. Buckareff, J. Aguilar & K. Frankish (eds.), New Waves in the Philosophy of Action. Palgrave Macmillan 13-31.
Joan Fontrodona & Alejo José G. Sison (2006). The Nature of the Firm, Agency Theory and Shareholder Theory: A Critique From Philosophical Anthropology. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 66 (1):33 - 42.
Fred R. Kaen, Allen Kaufman & Larry Zacharias (1988). American Political Values and Agency Theory: A Perspective. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 7 (11):805 - 820.
Steven Loyal & Barry Barnes (2001). "Agency" as a Red Herring in Social Theory. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4):507-524.
Wayne Wu (2013). Mental Action and the Threat of Automaticity. In Andy Clark, Julian Kiverstein & Tillman Vierkant (eds.), Decomposing the Will. Oxford University Press 244-61.
Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto (2009). Consumer Ethics in Japan: An Economic Reconstruction of Moral Agency of Japanese Firms – Qualitative Insights From Grocery/Retail Markets. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 84 (1):29 - 44.
Brian W. Kulik (2005). Agency Theory, Reasoning and Culture at Enron: In Search of a Solution. Journal of Business Ethics 59 (4):347 - 360.
Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto (2005). An Economic Approach to Business Ethics: Moral Agency of the Firm and the Enabling and Constraining Effects of Economic Institutions and Interactions in a Market Economy. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 60 (1):75 - 89.
Stephan Fuchs (2001). Beyond Agency. Sociological Theory 19 (1):24-40.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads28 ( #121,691 of 1,778,284 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #291,352 of 1,778,284 )
How can I increase my downloads?