Business leaders as citizens of the world. Advancing humanism on a global scale

Journal of Business Ethics 88 (3):537 - 550 (2009)
As the world is getting increasingly connected and interdependent it becomes clear that the world’s most pressing public problems such as poverty or global warming call for cross-sector solutions. The paper discusses the idea of business leaders acting as agents of world benefit, taking an active co-responsibility in generating solutions to problems. It argues that we need responsible global leaders who are aware of the pressing problems in the world, care for the needs of others, aspire to make this world a better place, and act in word and deed as global and responsible citizens. The argument is structured as follows: first, in highlighting some leadership challenges we discuss why it takes a responsible, global, and ultimately cosmopolitan mindset to enhance human values on a global scale. Second, we define more specifically responsible global leadership and the (potential) role of business leaders acting as agents of world benefit. Third, drawing on latest research on cosmopolitanism, we discuss the hallmarks of contemporary cosmopolitanism. Fourth, and concluding our argument, we propose key cosmopolitan business principles to help leaders build a more inclusive world.
Keywords cosmopolitanism  social justice  global business ethics  responsible leadership
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References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (1999). The Law of Peoples. Harvard University Press.
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Thomas Pogge (2005). World Poverty and Human Rights. Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1–7.

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