A framework for discussing normative theories of business ethics

Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (3):563-591 (2000)

Abstract
This paper carries forward the conceptual clarification of normative theories of business ethics ably begun by Hasnas in the January 1998 issue of BEQ. This paper proposes a normatively neutral framework for discussing and assessing such normative theories. Every normative theory needs to address these seven issues: it needs to specify a moral principle that identifies (1) recommended values and (2) the grounds for accepting those values. It also must specify (3) a decision principle that business people who accept the theory can use. It must determine (4) who the normative theory applies to and (5) whose interests need to be considered. It must also outline (6) in what contexts it applies, and (7) what legal and regulatory structures it assumes. Once clarified, this paper applies the framework to the normative versions of stockholder theory, stakeholder theory, and ISCT. It is concluded that ISCT is the most promising normative theory currently under discussion, but that there are some major issues that ISCT has not dealt with yet
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X
DOI 10.2307/3857893
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References found in this work BETA

Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.Bruce Brower & L. W. Sumner - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (2):309.
Corporations and Morality.Thomas Donaldson - 1982 - Journal of Business Ethics 1 (3):251-253.

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