Human rights and business ethics: Fashioning a new social contract [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 27 (1-2):205 - 214 (2000)
This paper argues that widely accepted understanding of the respective responsibilities of business and government in the post war industrialized world can be traced back to a tacit social contract that emerged following the second world war. The effect of this contract was to assign responsibility for generating wealth to business and responsibility for ensuring the equitable sharing of wealth to governments. Without question, this arrangement has resulted in substantial improvements in the quality of life in the industrialized world in the intervening period. I argue that with advance of economic globalization and the growing power and influence of multi national corporations, this division of responsibilities is not longer viable or defensible. What is needed, fifty years after the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, is a new social contract that shares responsibilities for human rights and related ethical responsibilities in a manner more in keeping with the vision captured by the post war Declaration. I conclude by suggesting some reasons for thinking that a new social contract may be emerging.
Keywords corporate social responsibility  ethics  globalization  government  human rights  social contract  U.N. Declaraton of Human Rights
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006488202305
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,126
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A Social Contract for International Business Ethics.Paul Neiman - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 114 (1):75-90.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Normative Theories of Business Ethics.John Hasnas - 1998 - Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (1):19-42.
Continuing the Social Contract Tradition.Michael Keeley - 1995 - Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (2):241-255.
Social Contracts and Corporations: A Reply to Hodapp. [REVIEW]Thomas Donaldson - 1990 - Journal of Business Ethics 9 (2):133 - 137.
Psychological Contracts.Jeffery A. Thompson & David W. Hart - 2005 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 16:38-43.
Can There Be a Social Contract with Business?Paul F. Hodapp - 1990 - Journal of Business Ethics 9 (2):127 - 131.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

106 ( #47,281 of 2,171,816 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #173,730 of 2,171,816 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums