Beyond Profit and Politics: Reciprocity and the Role of For-Profit Business

Journal of Business Ethics:1-13 (forthcoming)

Standard accounts of reciprocal citizenship hold that citizens have a duty to participate in politics. Against this, several business ethicists and philosophers have recently argued that people can satisfy their obligations of civic reciprocity non-politically, by owning, managing, or working in for-profit businesses. In this article, I reject both the standard and the market accounts of reciprocal citizenship. Against the market view, I show that the ordinary work of profit maximization cannot take the place of traditional political activity. Yet contra the standard political account, I show that a special class of the actions we perform in our work as employers and employees in for-profit companies can fulfill our obligations of reciprocity. Business ethicists must therefore develop a more nuanced account of the relationship between for-profit business endeavors and the debts we owe fellow citizens who undertake burdensome political work to our benefit.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-018-3777-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,164
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):187-201.
Global Justice, Reciprocity, and the State.Andrea Sangiovanni - 2007 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (1):3–39.
Relationships and Responsibilities.Samuel Scheffler - 1997 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (3):189-209.
Role Obligations.Michael O. Hardimon - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (7):333-363.
Legitimacy Without the Duty to Obey.Arthur Isak Applbaum - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (3):215-239.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

For-Profit Business as Civic Virtue.Jason Brennan - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 106 (3):313-324.
Profit: Some Moral Reflections.Paul F. Camenisch - 1987 - Journal of Business Ethics 6 (3):225 - 231.
The Why's of Business Revisited.Ronald F. Duska - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1401-1409.
Profit Motive.Joakim Sandberg - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
Business Social Responsibility: A Source of Social Capital?Jeremy Moon - 2001 - Philosophy of Management 1 (3):35-45.
The Stockholder – A Lesson for Business Ethics From Bioethics?John Hardwig - 2010 - Journal of Business Ethics 91 (3):329-341.
Profits, Layoffs, and Priorities.Daniel G. Arce & Sherry Xin Li - 2011 - Journal of Business Ethics 101 (1):49 - 60.
Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Managerial Perceptions on Profit.Aster Yong - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 82 (4):775-791.


Added to PP index

Total views
9 ( #732,974 of 2,237,278 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #307,030 of 2,237,278 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature