David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (6):515-532 (2007)
Is it legitimate for a business to concentrate on profits under respect for the law and ethical custom? On the one hand, there seems to be good reasons for claiming that a corporation has a duty to act for the benefit of all its stakeholders. On the other hand, this seems to dissolve the notion of a private business; but then again, a private business would appear to be exempted from ethical responsibility. This is what Kenneth Goodpaster has called the stakeholder paradox: either we have ethics without business or we have business without ethics. Through a different route, I reach the same solution to this paradox as Goodpaster, namely that a corporation is the instrument of the shareholders only, but that shareholders still have an obligation to act ethically responsibly. To this, I add discussion of Friedman’s claim that this responsibility consists in increasing profits. I show that most of his arguments fail. Only pragmatic considerations allow to a certain extent that some of the ethical responsibility is left over to democratic regulation.
|Keywords||democracy ethical responsibility freedom free rider|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
R. Edward Freeman (1994). The Politics of Stakeholder Theory. Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):409-421.
Kenneth E. Goodpaster (1991). Business Ethics and Stakeholder Analysis. Business Ethics Quarterly 1 (1):53-73.
Brian P. Schaefer (2008). Shareholders and Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 81 (2):297 - 312.
Patrick E. Murphy (2009). The Relevance of Responsibility to Ethical Business Decisions. Journal of Business Ethics 90 (2):245 - 252.
Michelle Greenwood (2007). Stakeholder Engagement: Beyond the Myth of Corporate Responsibility. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 74 (4):315 - 327.
Dwight R. Lee & Richard B. McKenzie (1994). Corporate Failure as a Means to Corporate Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 13 (12):969 - 978.
John R. Boatright (1994). Fiduciary Duties and the Shareholder-Management Relation. Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):393-407.
Thomas L. Carson (1993). Does the Stakeholder Theory Constitute a New Kind of Theory of Social Responsibility? Business Ethics Quarterly 3 (2):171-176.
Andrew C. Wicks (2007). Corporate and Stakeholder Responsibility. Business Ethics Quarterly 17 (3):375-398.
Jerry D. Goodstein & Andrew C. Wicks (2007). Corporate and Stakeholder Responsibility: Making Business Ethics a Two-Way Conversation. Business Ethics Quarterly 17 (3):375-398.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads62 ( #22,739 of 1,096,364 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #224,942 of 1,096,364 )
How can I increase my downloads?