Imperfect Duties and Corporate Philanthropy: A Kantian Approach [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 106 (3):367-381 (2012)
Abstract
Nonprofit organizations play a crucial role in society. Unfortunately, many such organizations are chronically underfunded and struggle to meet their objectives. These facts have significant implications for corporate philanthropy and Kant’s notion of imperfect duties. Under the concept of imperfect duties, businesses would have wide discretion regarding which charities receive donations, how much money to give, and when such donations take place. A perceived problem with imperfect duties is that they can lead to moral laxity; that is, a failure on the part of businesses to fulfill their financial obligations to nonprofit organizations. This article argues the problem of moral laxity rests on a misinterpretation of Kantian ethics and, therefore, is really not a problem at all. As such, we argue corporate philanthropy while an imperfect duty should be interpreted more akin to perfect duties and, as a consequence, moral laxity does not arise for those corporations committed to acting on the basis of the moral law. More specifically, firms have duty-based obligations on the basis of benevolence, and as good corporate citizens, to help fund non-profit organizations
Keywords Beneficence  Corporate philanthropy  Ethics  Imperfect duties  Immanuel Kant
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Marcia Baron (1987). Kantian Ethics and Supererogation. Journal of Philosophy 84 (5):237-262.
    Norman E. Bowie (1998). A Kantian Theory of Meaningful Work. Journal of Business Ethics 17 (9-10):1083 - 1092.

    View all 22 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Allen Buchanan (1996). Perfecting Imperfect Duties. Business Ethics Quarterly 6 (1):27-42.
    Jae Hwan Lee & Ronald K. Mitchell (2011). Towards Refining the Concept of Corporate Citizenship. Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 22:265-273.
    Ann K. Buchholtz & Jill A. Brown (2006). Corporate Philanthropy Research. Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 17:70-71.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2011-08-27

    Total downloads

    18 ( #78,331 of 1,089,062 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,801 of 1,089,062 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.