A Political Account of Corporate Moral Responsibility

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):223 - 246 (2011)
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Abstract

Should we conceive of corporations as entities to which moral responsibility can be attributed? This contribution presents what we will call a political account of corporate moral responsibility. We argue that in modern, liberal democratic societies, there is an underlying political need to attribute greater levels of moral responsibility to corporations. Corporate moral responsibility is essential to the maintenance of social coordination that both advances social welfare and protects citizens' moral entitlements. This political account posits a special capacity of self-governance that corporations can intelligibly be said to possess. Corporations can be said to be "administrators of duty" in that they can voluntarily incorporate moral principles into their decision-making processes about how to conduct business. This account supplements and partly transforms earlier pragmatic accounts of corporate moral responsibility by disentangling responsibility from its conventional linkages with accountability, blame and punishment. It thereby represents a distinctive way to defend corporate moral responsibility and shows how Kantian thinking can be helpful in disentangling the problems surrounding the concept

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Citations of this work

The Fallacy of Corporate Moral Agency.David Rönnegard (ed.) - 2015 - Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
Corporate character, corporate virtues.Geoff Moore - 2015 - Business Ethics: A European Review 24 (S2):99-114.
Corporate Moral Responsibility.Amy J. Sepinwall - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (1):3-13.
Grounding Positive Duties in Commercial Life.Wim Dubbink & Luc Van Liedekerke - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 120 (4):527-539.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
The sources of normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.

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