Journal of Business Ethics 112 (2):301-312 (2013)

Abstract
This article leverages insights from the body of Adam Smith’s work, including two lesser-known manuscripts—the Theory of Moral Sentiments and Lectures in Jurisprudence —to help answer the question as to how companies should morally prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and stakeholder claims. Smith makes philosophical distinctions between justice and beneficence and perfect and imperfect rights, and we leverage those distinctions to speak to contemporary CSR and stakeholder management theories. We address the often-neglected question as to how far a company should be expected to go in pursuit of CSR initiatives and we offer a fresh perspective as to the role of business in relation to stakeholders and to society as a whole. Smith’s moral insights help us to propose a practical framework of legitimacy in stakeholder claims that can help managers select appropriate and responsible CSR activities.
Keywords Adam Smith  Beneficence  Corporate social responsibility  Justice  Perfect rights  Stakeholders
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-012-1251-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,759
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
Two Treatises of Government.John Locke - 1988 - Cambridge University Press.
The Wealth of Nations.Adam Smith - 1976 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Capitalism and Freedom.Milton Friedman - 1962 - Ethics 74 (1):70-72.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Adam Smith’s Contribution to Business Ethics, Then and Now.Michael Gonin - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 129 (1):221-236.
Economic Rationality and a Moral Science of Business Ethics.Duane Windsor - 2016 - Philosophy of Management 15 (2):135-149.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-03-02

Total views
103 ( #100,451 of 2,432,575 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #170,117 of 2,432,575 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes