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  1. What Collectives Are: Agency, Individualism and Legal Theory.David Copp - 1984 - Dialogue 23 (2):249-269.
  • Feminist Ethics as Moral Grounding for Stakeholder Theory.Craig P. Dunn - 1996 - Business Ethics Quarterly 6 (2):133-147.
    Stakeholder theory, as a method of management based on morals and behavior, must be grounded by a theory of ethics. However, traditional ethics of justice and rights cannot completely ground the theory. Following and expanding on the work of Wicks, Gilbert, and Freeman (1994), we believe that feminist ethics, invoking principles of caring, provides the missing element that allows moral theory to ground the stakeholder approach to management. Examples are given to support the suggested general principle for making business decisions (...)
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  • Ethics in Declining Organizations.Marshall Schminke - 1991 - Business Ethics Quarterly 1 (3):235-248.
    This paper explores the relationship between declining organizations and unethical behavior. Data from a four month long managementsimulation indicate that declining organizations demonstrate a greater propensity for unethical activities than do more successful companies. The results indicate that: I) organizations in decline are more likely to be involved in unethical activities; 2) the more severe the decline is, the more unethical the behavior is likely to be; and 3) it is organizational decline and not initial propensities toward unethical conduct that (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility and the Individual.Joseph Levine - 2009 - Essays in Philosophy 10 (2):5.
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  • True Confessions of The New York Times.Wendy Wyatt Barger - 2005 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (1):27-44.
    On the morning of May 26, 2004, New York Times readers found a note from the paper’s editors on Page A10. The headline read “From the Editors—The Times and Iraq,” and the 1,000-word article that followed served as a disclosure that the Times had failed in its duty of both aggressive information gathering and careful reporting with a critical eye. Response to the note was fast and widespread as newspeople across the country commented on the paper’s public admission of its (...)
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  • Corporate Moral Personhood and Three Conceptions of the Corporation.Michael J. Phillips - 1992 - Business Ethics Quarterly 2 (4):435-459.
    Despite some exceptions, the business ethics literature on the moral responsibility of corporations does not emphasize a subject critical to that inquiry: the general nature of corporations. This article attempts to lessen the imbalance by describing three conceptions of the corporation that have been prominent in twentieth century legal theorizing, and by sketching their implications for the moral responsibility of corporations. These three conceptions, at least two of which have counterparts in the philosophical and organizational theory literature, are the concession, (...)
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  • Agency as Difference-Making: Causal Foundations of Moral Responsibility.Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science
    We are responsible for some things but not for others. In this thesis, I investigate what it takes for an entity to be responsible for something. This question has two components: agents and actions. I argue for a permissive view about agents. Entities such as groups or artificially intelligent systems may be agents in the sense required for responsibility. With respect to actions, I argue for a causal view. The relation in virtue of which agents are responsible for actions is (...)
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  • Organization Ethics From a Perspective of Praxis.Richard P. Nielsen - 1993 - Business Ethics Quarterly 3 (2):131-151.
    Organization ethics praxis is theory and method of appropriate action for addressing ethics issues and developing ethical organizations. The perspective of praxis (theory and method of action) is important and different from the perspectives of theoria (theory of understanding), epistemology (ways of knowing), and ontology (ways of being/existing). Praxis is the least developed area within the field of organization ethics. Differences between theoria and praxis are considered within the context of Kohlberg-Gilligan developmental ethics where part of the controversy may be (...)
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  • A Feminist Reinterpretation of The Stakeholder Concept.R. Edward Freeman - 1994 - Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):475-497.
    Stakeholder theory has become one of the most important developments in the field of business ethics. While this concept has evolved and gained prominence as a method of integrating ethics into the basic purposes and strategic objectives of the firm, the authors argue that stakeholder theory has retained certain “masculinist” assumptions from the wider business literature that limit its usefulness. The resources of feminist thought, specifically the work of Carol Gilligan, provide a means of reinterpreting the stakeholder concept in a (...)
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  • Organizations and Agency.Guangwei Ouyang & Roger A. Shiner - 1995 - Legal Theory 1 (3):283-310.
    Much recent work in applied legal and political theory has been preoccupied with the problem of the moral status of business organizations and corporations, and of the nature of their agency and personality. On the one hand, moral rights, such as rights to freedom and autonomy, are paradigmatically ascribed to natural, human persons; moral responsibility analogously seems therefore paradigmatically applicable to individuals. Organizations seemingly have no will or mind, no human feelings such as pleasure, pain, shame, and remorse. How can (...)
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  • Corporate Moral Responsibility: When It Might Matter.Michael J. Phillips - 1995 - Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (3):555-576.
    The debate over corporate moral responsibility has become a fixture in business ethics research and teaching. Only rarely, however, does the sizable literature on that question consider whether the debate has important practical implications. This article examines that question from a corporate control perspective. After assuming corporate moral responsibility’s existence for purposes of argument, the article concludes that such responsibility makes a difference in cases where it is present but personal responsibility is absent. Then the article tries to identify the (...)
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  • The Social Equation: Freedom and its Limits.Charles M. Horvath - 1995 - Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (2):329-352.
    Western business philosophy is rooted in the concepts of free enterprise, free markets, free choice. Yet freedom has its limits. Nature itself imposes constraints. In the state of nature each business must try to accomplish everything autonomously and ward off the attacks of rivals. These activities cost the business a great deal of freedom. The social contract emerges from such anarchy to increase the freedom available to all members of society. It does so by setting limits on individual freedom which (...)
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  • Can Ethical Character Be Stimulated and Enabled? An Action-Learning Approach to Teaching and Learning Organizational Ethics.Richard P. Nielsen - 1998 - Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (3):581-604.
    There can be ethical understanding of organizational policy issues and that is important. However, there can be policy understandingabout what the organization should do without understanding of individual level responsibility. There can be cognitive understanding of both policy and individual level ethics responsibilities and that is important. However, there can be cognitive understanding without affective, emotive concern. Intellectual understanding without affective concern can lead to understanding without motivation. There can be cognitive understanding and affective concern and that is important, but (...)
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  • Organizational Ontology and the Moral Status of the Corporation.Lance B. Kurke - 1997 - Business Ethics Quarterly 7 (4):91-108.
    This paper explores an ontological approach to the issue of whether corporations, like individuals, are morally responsible for their actions. More specifically, we investigate the identity of organizations relative to the individuals that compose them. Based on general systems theory, the traditional assumption is that social collectives are more complex, variable, and loosely coupled than individuals. This assumption rests on two premises. The first is a view of the individual as simple, stable, and tightly coupled (i.e., unitary). The second premise (...)
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  • The Anti-Sweatshop Movement: Constructing Corporate Moral Agency in the Global Apparel Industry.Rebecca De Winter - 2001 - Ethics and International Affairs 15 (2):99-115.
    Through the use of rhetoric linking private economic transactions and international labor and human rights standards, the movement has successfully challenged corporate practices that were previously considered unremarkable.
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  • The Corporation as Actual Agreement.Gordon G. Sollars - 2002 - Business Ethics Quarterly 12 (3):351-370.
    Abstract: In contrast to “social contract” theories of the corporation, a moral justification of the corporation as actual, not hypothetical, agreement is presented. Central to the justification is the idea of personal projects, as developed by Loren Lomasky. The key idea is the role that corporations can play in the construction and advancement of personal, value-creating projects. The concept of the corporation as actual agreement, as a type of “right of association” theory, is defended against influential criticism of such theories (...)
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  • Toward Moral Responsibility Theories of Corporate Sustainability and Sustainable Supply Chain.Jung Ha-Brookshire - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 145 (2):227-237.
    In the quest to build truly sustainable corporations and supply chains, we propose the moral responsibility theory of corporate sustainability and the moral responsibility theory of sustainable supply chain. Built from morality literature in philosophy, the view of corporations as moral agents in law, and analyses of corporate hypocrisy and its role in an organization’s and its members’ behaviors, our theories show how a truly sustainable corporation and its external supply chain could emerge. At the core, we believe that without (...)
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  • Corporations, Minors, and Other Innocents? A Reply to R. E. Ewin.P. Eddy Wilson - 1994 - Journal of Business Ethics 13 (10):761 - 774.
    R. E. Ewin has argued that corporations are moral persons, but Ewin describes them as being unable to think or to act in virtuous and vicious ways. Ewin thinks that their impoverished emotional life would not allow them to act in these ways. In this brief essay I want to challenge the idea that corporations cannot act virtuously. I begin by examining deficiencies in Ewin''s notion of corporate personhood. I argue that he effectively reduces corporations to the status of incompetent (...)
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  • Group Intentions and Oppression.Anna Moltchanova - 2013 - Philosophy 88 (1):81-100.
    A reductive theory of collective intentionality would imply that the ‘official’ intentions of an oppressive political authority cannot be constructed from the intentions of individuals when they follow the authority's rules. This makes it difficult to explain the unraveling of official group plans through time in a seemingly consistent fashion, and the corresponding source of coercion. A non-reductive theory, on the other hand, cannot capture whether the actions of individuals in an oppressive society are free or coerced, so long as (...)
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  • Democracy for the Future: A Conceptual Framework to Assess Institutional Reform.Wallimann-Helmer Ivo, Meyer Lukas & Burger Paul - 2016 - In .
    There seem to be good reasons that democratic institutions must be reformed in order to minimize the danger of unsustainable policy decisions infringing upon duties of intergenerational justice. This is why there exist a number of different proposals of how to reform democratic states in order to foster their duties towards the future. However, the debate lacks a systematic assessment of these suggested reforms within a coherent theoretical and norma-tive framework. This paper aims at developing such a framework. We suggest (...)
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  • Rethinking Microfinance: Towards a Multi-Stakeholder Framework of Responsible Microfinance.Landolt Simone - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Zurich
    Microfinance aims to better the livelihoods of the bottom of the pyramid by providing them with financial services. However, recent studies show that microfinance can have adverse effects, leading clients into over-indebtedness. This dissertation argues that microfinance clients are by default vulnerable and offers ways to rethink microfinance as client-centered, presuming a responsibility for client protection. Part I discusses the vulnerability of clients and the centrality of their protection. Part II analyzes the causes and consequences of overindebtedness and suggests state (...)
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  • Responsibility Unincorporated: Corporate Agency and Moral Responsibility.Luis Cheng-Guajardo - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):294-314.
    Those who argue that corporations can be morally responsible for what they do help us to understand how autonomous corporate agency is possible, and those who argue that they cannot be help us maintain distinctive value in human life. Each offers something valuable, but without securing the other's important contribution. I offer an account that secures both. I explain how corporations can be autonomous agents that we can continue to be justified in blaming as responsible agents, but without it also (...)
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  • How I Learned to Worry About the Spaghetti Western: Collective Responsibility and Collective Agency.Caroline T. Arruda - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):anx067.
    In recent years, collective agency and responsibility have received a great deal of attention. One exciting development concerns whether collective, non-distributive responsibility can be assigned to collective non-agents, such as crowds and nation-states. I focus on an underappreciated aspect of these arguments—namely, that they sometimes derive substantive ontological conclusions about the nature of collective agents from these responsibility attributions. I argue that this order of inference, whose form I represent in what I call the Spaghetti Western Argument, largely fails, even (...)
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  • Response to Critics.Tracy Isaacs - 2014 - Dialogue 53 (1):43-55.
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  • Co-Responsibility for Individualists.David Atenasio - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-20.
    Some argue that if an agent intentionally participates in collective wrongdoing, that agent bears responsibility for contributing actions performed by other members of the agent’s collective. Some of these intention-state theorists distribute co-responsibility to group members by appeal to participatory intentions alone, while others require participants to instantiate additional beliefs or perform additional actions. I argue that prominent intention-state theories of co-responsibility fail to provide a compelling rationale for why participation in collective wrongdoing merits responsibility not only for one’s own (...)
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  • Corporate Crocodile Tears? On the Reactive Attitudes of Corporate Agents.Gunnar Björnsson & Kendy Hess - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):273–298.
    Recently, a number of people have argued that certain entities embodied by groups of agents themselves qualify as agents, with their own beliefs, desires, and intentions; even, some claim, as moral agents. However, others have independently argued that fully-fledged moral agency involves a capacity for reactive attitudes such as guilt and indignation, and these capacities might seem beyond the ken of “collective” or “ corporate ” agents. Individuals embodying such agents can of course be ashamed, proud, or indignant about what (...)
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  • Kollektive Verantwortung für den Klimaschutz.Ivo Wallimann-Helmer - 2017 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 4 (1):211-238.
    In der gegebenen globalen Governance-Struktur stellen souveräne Einzelstaaten die zentralen kollektiven Akteure dar, die Verantwortung für einen zeitnahen und eff ektiven Klimaschutz übernehmen müssen. Dieser Aufsatz vertritt die These, dass die Diff erenzierung der Einzelstaaten zumutbaren Verantwortung die Bedingungen berücksichtigen sollte, aufgrund derer sie als kollektivverantwortungsfähige Akteure verstanden werden können. Dies gilt sowohl mit Blick auf ihre historische Verantwortung für die Verursachung des Klimawandels als auch im Hinblick auf die Zukunft. Dabei ist für zeitnahen und eff ektiven Klimaschutz von zentraler (...)
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  • Corporate Agency and Possible Futures.Tim Mulgan - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics:1-16.
    We need an account of corporate agency that is temporally robust – one that will help future people to cope with challenges posed by corporate groups in a range of credible futures. In particular, we need to bequeath moral resources that enable future people to avoid futures dominated by corporate groups that have no regard for human beings. This paper asks how future philosophers living in broken or digital futures might re-imagine contemporary debates about corporate agency. It argues that the (...)
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  • Corporate Agency and Possible Futures.Tim Mulgan - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):901-916.
    We need an account of corporate agency that is temporally robust – one that will help future people to cope with challenges posed by corporate groups in a range of credible futures. In particular, we need to bequeath moral resources that enable future people to avoid futures dominated by corporate groups that have no regard for human beings. This paper asks how future philosophers living in broken or digital futures might re-imagine contemporary debates about corporate agency. It argues that the (...)
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  • Politics and Collective Action in Thomas Aquinas's on Kingship.Anselm Spindler - unknown
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  • Bioethics, Complementarity, and Corporate Criminal Liability.Ryan Long - 2017 - International Criminal Law Review 17 (6):997-1021.
    This article provides a brief introduction to some contemporary challenges found in the intersection of bioethics and international criminal law involving genetic privacy, organ trafficking, genetic engineering, and cloning. These challenges push us to re-evaluate the question of whether the international criminal law should hold corporations criminally liable. I argue that a minimalist and Strawsonian conception of corporate responsibility could be useful for deterring the wrongs outlined in first few sections and in answering compelling objections to corporate criminal liability.
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  • The Virtuous Organization.Jane Collier - 1995 - Business Ethics: A European Review 4 (3):143-149.
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  • An American Perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Tenuous Relevance of Jacques Derrida.Richard T. De George - 2008 - Business Ethics 17 (1):74–86.
  • An American Perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Tenuous Relevance of Jacques Derrida.Richard T. De George - 2008 - Business Ethics: A European Review 17 (1):74-86.
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  • A Framework for Organizational Virtue: The Interrelationship of Mission, Culture and Leadership.J. Thomas Whetstone - 2005 - Business Ethics 14 (4):367-378.
  • Punishing Groups: When External Justice Takes Priority Over Internal Justice.Johannes Himmelreich & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):134-150.
    Punishing groups raises a difficult question, namely, how their punishment can be justified at all. Some have argued that punishing groups is morally problematic because of the effects that the punishment entails for their members. In this paper we argue against this view. We distinguish the question of internal justice—how punishment-effects are distributed—from the question of external justice—whether the punishment is justified. We argue that issues of internal justice do not in general undermine the permissibility of punishment. We also defend (...)
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  • Why Change the Subject? On Collective Epistemic Agency.András Szigeti - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):843-864.
    This paper argues that group attitudes can be assessed in terms of standards of rationality and that group-level rationality need not be due to individual-level rationality. But it also argues that groups cannot be collective epistemic agents and are not collectively responsible for collective irrationality. I show that we do not need the concept of collective epistemic agency to explain how group-level irrationality can arise. Group-level irrationality arises because even rational individuals can fail to reason about how their attitudes will (...)
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  • Global Obligations, Collective Capacities, and 'Ought Implies Can'.Bill Wringe - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-16.
    The main business of this paper is to refute an objection to the idea that there might be obligations which fall on humanity as a whole where this phrase is understood as referring to obligations of which humanity as a whole is the bearer, rather than to obligations which fall on each individual moral agent. The view might also be expressed as the view that there are obligations which fall on everyone collectively, rather than distributively. -/- The objection I wish (...)
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  • An American Perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Tenuous Relevance of Jacques Derrida.Richard T. De George - 2008 - Business Ethics 17 (1):74-86.
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  • Kantian Group Agency.Amy L. MacArthur - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):917-927.
    Although much work has been done on Kant’s theory of moral agency, little explored is the possibility of a Kantian account of the moral agency of groups or collectives that comprise individual human beings. The aim of this paper is to offer a Kantian account of collective moral agency that can explain how organized collectives can perform moral actions and be held morally responsible for their actions. Drawing on Kant’s view that agents act by incorporating an incentive into their maxims, (...)
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  • Rethinking Corporate Agency in Business, Philosophy, and Law.Samuel Mansell, John Ferguson, David Gindis & Avia Pasternak - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):893-899.
    While researchers in business ethics, moral philosophy, and jurisprudence have advanced the study of corporate agency, there have been very few attempts to bring together insights from these and other disciplines in the pages of the Journal of Business Ethics. By introducing to an audience of business ethics scholars the work of outstanding authors working outside the field, this interdisciplinary special issue addresses this lacuna. Its aim is to encourage the formulation of innovative arguments that reinvigorate the study of corporate (...)
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  • Individual Actions and Corporate Moral Responsibility: A Kantian Approach.Tobey Scharding - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):929-942.
    This paper examines the resources of Kantian ethics to establish corporate moral responsibility. I defend Matthew Altman’s claim that Kantian ethics cannot hold corporations morally responsible for corporate malfeasance. Rather than following Altman in interpreting this inability as a reason not to use Kantian ethics, however, I argue that the Kantian framework is correct: business ethicists should not seek to hold corporations morally responsible. Instead, they should use Kantian resources to criticize the actions of individual businesspeople. I set forth a (...)
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  • An Ethical Analysis of Emotional Labor.Bruce Barry, Mara Olekalns & Laura Rees - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-18.
    Our understanding of emotional labor, while conceptually and empirically substantial, is normatively impoverished: very little has been said or written expressly about its ethical dimensions or ramifications. Emotional labor refers to efforts undertaken by employees to make their private feelings and/or public emotion displays consistent with job and organizational requirements. We formally define emotional labor, briefly summarize research in organizational behavior and social psychology on the causes and consequences of emotional labor, and present a normative analysis of its moral limits (...)
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  • The Defense Industry Initiative: Ethics, Self-Regulation, and Accountability. [REVIEW]Nancy B. Kurland - 1993 - Journal of Business Ethics 12 (2):137 - 145.
    In 1986, President Reagan created the Packard Commission, a blue-ribbon commission to investigate defense contracting procurement fraud. The Packard Commission''s major recommendation was for defense contractors to adopt ethics programs. Out of this recommendation emerged the Defense Industry Initiative (DII). This paper examines this Initiative and focuses on the DII''s six principles. In particular, this paper explores the implications the DII has had with respect to (1) pursuing intra-industry cooperation and setting industry-wide standards; (2) monitoring compliance; (3) the paradox inherent (...)
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  • Ethics and Management: A Controversial Issue. [REVIEW]Josep M. Lozano - 1996 - Journal of Business Ethics 15 (2):227 - 236.
    This paper is a part of a broader research project which aims to examine how ethical paradigms are related to theories of organization and management. Using an analysis of various studies on the issue of Business Ethics as its point of departure the paper points out that there are two converging lines of thought. The first emphasizes that management should be reexamined in the light of the cultural changes taking place and maintains that management is a key factor in this (...)
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  • How Autonomous Are Collective Agents? Corporate Rights and Normative Individualism.Frank Hindriks - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S9):1565-1585.
    Corporate responsibility requires a conception of collective agency on which collective agents are able to form moral judgments and act on them. In spite of claims to the contrary, existing accounts of collective agency fall short of this kind of corporate autonomy, as they fail to explain how collective agents might be responsive to moral reasons. I discuss how a recently proposed conception of shared valuing can be used for developing a solution to this problem. Although the resulting conception of (...)
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  • On Explaining Individual and Corporate Culpability in the Global Climate Change Era.Ian A. Smith - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 112 (4):551-558.
    Humans are causing global climate change (GCC), and such climate change causes harms. Robin Attfield explained how individuals should be understood to be culpable for these harms. In this paper, I use a critical analysis of Attfield’s explanatory framework to explore further difficulties in accounting for corporate responsibility for these harms. I begin by arguing that there are some problems with his framework as it is applied to individuals that emit greenhouse gases (GHGs). I then show that it will be (...)
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  • Social Systems.Heidi L. Maibom - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (5):557 – 578.
    It used to be thought that folk psychology is the only game in town. Focusing merely on what people do will not allow you to predict what they are likely to do next. For that, you must consider their beliefs, desires, intentions, etc. Recent evidence from developmental psychology and fMRI studies indicates that this conclusion was premature. We parse motion in an environment as behavior of a particular type, and behavior thus construed can feature in systematizations that we know. Building (...)
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  • On Corporate Virtue.Aditi Gowri - 2007 - Journal of Business Ethics 70 (4):391-400.
    This paper considers the question of virtues appropriate to a corporate actor's moral character. A model of corporate appetites is developed by analogy with animal appetities; and the pursuit of initially virtuous corporate tendencies to an extreme degree is shown to be morally perilous. The author thus refutes a previous argument which suggested that (1) corporate virtues, unlike human virtues, need not be located on an Aristotelian mean between opposite undesirable extremes because (2) corporations do not have appetites; and (3) (...)
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  • Mutually Enhancing Responsibility: A Theoretical Exploration of the Interaction Mechanisms Between Individual and Corporate Moral Responsibility.Muel Kaptein & Mihaela Constantinescu - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 129 (2):325-339.
    Moral responsibility for outcomes in corporate settings can be ascribed either to the individual members, the corporation, or both. In the latter case, the relationship between individual and corporate responsibility has been approached as inversely proportional, such that an increase in individual responsibility leads to a corresponding decrease in corporate responsibility and vice versa. In this article, we develop a non-proportionate approach, where, under specific conditions, individual and corporate moral responsibilities interact dynamically, leading to a mutual enhancement of responsibility: the (...)
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