Money and the Commons: An Investigation of Complementary Currencies and Their Ethical Implications

Journal of Business Ethics 160 (1):277-292 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The commons is a concept increasingly used with the promise of creating new collective wealth. In the aftermath of the economic and financial crises, finance and money have been criticized and redesigned to serve the collective interest. In this article, we analyze three types of complementary currency systems: community currencies, inter-enterprise currencies, and cryptocurrencies. We investigate whether these systems can be considered as commons. To address this question, we use two main theoretical frameworks that are usually separate: the “new commons” in organization studies and the “common good” in business ethics. Our findings show that these monetary systems and organizations may be considered as commons under the “common good” framework since they promote the common interest by creating new communities. Nevertheless, according to the “new commons” framework, only systems relying on collective action and self-management can be said to form commons. This allows us to suggest two new categories of commons: the “social commons,” which fit into both the “new commons” and the “common good” frameworks, and the “commercial commons,” which fit the “common good” but not the “new commons” framework. This research advances a new conceptualization of the commons and of the ethical implications of CCs.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,659

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Commons as a Legal Concept.Maria Rosaria Marella - 2017 - Law and Critique 28 (1):61-86.
The common good.Donna Dickenson - 2017 - In Roger Brownsword, Eloise Scotford & Karen Yeung (eds.), The Oxford of the Law and Regulation of Biotechnology. Oxford University Press. pp. 135-152.
Capitalism and the Commons.Adam Arvidsson - forthcoming - Theory, Culture and Society:026327641986883.


Added to PP

36 (#441,050)

6 months
16 (#219,310)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?