Journal of Academic Ethics 2 (1):3-41 (2004)

The issue of corporate responsibility has long been discussed in relationship to universities, but generally only in an ad hoc fashion. While the role of universities in teaching business ethics is one theme that has received significant and rather constant attention, other issues tend to be raised only sporadically. Moreover, when issues of corporate responsibility are raised, it is often done on the presumption of some understanding of a liberal arts mandate of the university, a position that has come under much attack in recent years. The purpose of this article is to investigate more systematically the nature of the obligations that the university has to promote more responsible corporate behaviour. It does so on the basis of a reinterpretation of the liberal arts tradition from a critical theory perspective. This entails: (1) an initial conceptualization of the roles and functions of the university; (2) an examination of these functions at two formative periods of the liberal arts tradition, the medieval university and the rise of the modern university in Germany in the early 19th century; (3) an investigation of ruptures in the understanding and practices of the liberal arts tradition, resulting in large part from the rise of the bureaucratic state and the industrial capitalist economy; (4) a reinterpretation of the liberal arts tradition from a critical theory perspective; and (5) a systematic elaboration of the obligations of the university vis-à-vis corporations based upon the university's key functions of teaching, research, formation and professional development.
Keywords academic ethics  business ethics  corporate responsibility  critical theory  liberal arts tradition  university
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DOI 10.1023/B:JAET.0000039006.33143.02
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The Conflict of the Faculties =.Immanuel Kant - 1979 - University of Nebraska Press.

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