Advancing Integrative Social Contracts Theory: A Habermasian Perspective

Journal of Business Ethics 89 (2):215-234 (2009)
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We critically assess integrative social contracts theory (ISCT) and show that the concept particularly lacks of moral justification of substantive hypernorms. By drawing on Habermasian philosophy, in particular discourse ethics and its recent application in the theory of deliberative democracy , we further advance ISCT and show that social contracting in business ethics requires a well-justified procedural rather than a substantive focus for managing stakeholder relations. We also replace the monological concept of hypothetical thought experiments in ISCT by a concept of practical discourse to better govern business activities on the macro-level of organizational actors such as firms, governments, and NGOs.



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References found in this work

Principia ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Thomas Baldwin.
Morals by agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Critique of practical reason.Immanuel Kant - 1788 - Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.

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