Two concepts of communication as criteria for collective responsibility

Journal of Business Ethics 7 (10):735 - 744 (1988)
In part one I review the literature, exposing some of the ambiguities, contradictions, and antinomies involved in the notion of communication. The literature presents us with two rather contradictory notions of communication: one rhetorical, the other responsible. Disparity between the two may be seen to jeopardize a new moral mandate to corporate business. In part two I develop more explicitly the models of rhetorical and responsible communication, locating the issue at the center of a solution to the problem of collective responsibility. A proper exercise of corporate moral responsibility, I argue, is compatible only with a model of responsible communication. I conclude by challenging top management to strive toward a goal of responsible communication at all levels in their respective corporate institutions.
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