Constrained Multiple Goal Optimization as a Theory of the Firm

Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 18:283-288 (2007)
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This paper explores an approach for formulating a prescriptive theory of the firm that integrates economic and ethical criteria to guide strategic and operationalconduct of managers. A prescriptive theory posits goal optimization. A “constrained multiple goal optimization” approach models the firm as a broad set of multiple goals and multiple constraints, the latter both internal and external. An exploration begins with no assumptions concerning whether economics and ethics are compatible or antithetical. If the two approaches are mutually reinforcing, a win-win situation obtains. If the two approaches are in win-lose conflict, a key issue is which approach is hierarchically superior or whether the two approaches can be weighted relatively



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