Journal of Business Ethics 88 (3):445 - 462 (2009)
|Abstract||Inter-organizational models are both a well-documented phenomena and a well-established domain in management and business ethics. Those models rest on collaborative capabilities. However, mainstream theories and practices aimed at developing these capabilities are based on a narrow set of assumptions and ethical principles about human nature and relationships, which constrain the very development of capabilities sought by them. This article presents an Aristotelic–Thomistic approach to collaborative entrepreneurship within and across communities of firms operating in complementary markets. Adopting a scholarship of integration approach and evaluating the six studies of communities of organizations, we contribute an inter-organizational network model based on the assumptions about human motives and choice offered by Aristotle. We argue that the sustainability of inter-organizational communities depends on how rich is the set of assumptions about human nature upon which they are based. In order to develop and sustain collaborative capabilities in inter-organizational communities, a set of assumptions that takes both self-regarding and others’-regarding preferences as ends is required to avoid any kind of instrumentalization of collaboration, which is an end in itself. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.|
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