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  1. Weeding Out Flawed Versions of Shareholder Primacy: A Reflection on the Moral Obligations That Carry Over From Principals to Agents.Santiago Mejia - 2019 - Business Ethics Quarterly 29 (4):519-544.
    ABSTRACT:The distinction between what I call nonelective obligations and discretionary obligations, a distinction that focuses on one particular thread of the distinction between perfect and imperfect duties, helps us to identify the obligations that carry over from principals to agents. Clarity on this issue is necessary to identify the moral obligations within “shareholder primacy”, which conceives of managers as agents of shareholders. My main claim is that the principal-agent relation requires agents to fulfill nonelective obligations, but it does not always (...)
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  • Which Duties of Beneficence Should Agents Discharge on Behalf of Principals? A Reflection Through Shareholder Primacy.Santiago Mejia - 2021 - Business Ethics Quarterly 31 (3):421-449.
    Scholars who favor shareholder primacy usually claim either that managers should not fulfill corporate duties of beneficence or that, if they are required to fulfill them, they do so by going against their obligations to shareholders. Distinguishing between structurally different types of duties of beneficence and recognizing the full force of the normative demands imposed on managers reveal that this view needs to be qualified. Although it is correct to think that managers, when acting on behalf of shareholders, are not (...)
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  • Aggressive Tax Avoidance by Managers of Multinational Companies as a Violation of Their Moral Duty to Obey the Law: A Kantian Rationale.Hansrudi Lenz - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 165 (4):681-697.
    Managers of multinational companies often favour an aggressive tax avoidance strategy that pushes the legal limits onto the advantage of shareholders and the disadvantage of the spirit of democratically legitimized tax laws. The public and media debate whether such aggressive behaviour is immoral. Aggressive tax avoidance is a subset of the aggressive legal interpretations potentially observable in all fields which places little weight on the will of a democratically legitimized legislation. A thorough ethical analysis based on the deontological approach of (...)
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  • Beyond Frontier Town: Do Early Modern Theories of Property Apply to Capitalist Economies?Katharina Nieswandt - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):909-923.
    The theories of Locke, Hume and Kant dominate contemporary philosophical discourse on property rights. This is particularly true of applied ethics, where they are used to settle issues from biotech patents to managerial obligations. Within these theories, however, the usual criticisms of private property aren’t even as much as intelligible. Locke, Hume and Kant, I argue, develop claims about property on a model economy that I call “Frontier Town.” They and contemporary authors then apply these claims to capitalist economies. There (...)
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  • Beyond Due Diligence: the Human Rights Corporation.Benjamin Gregg - 2020 - Human Rights Review 22 (1):65-89.
    The modern corporation offers significant potential to contribute to the human rights project, in part because it is free from the challenges posed by national sovereignty. That promise has begun to be realized in businesses practicing corporate due diligence with regard to the human rights of persons involved in or affected by those enterprises. Yet due diligence preserves the self-seeking orientation of the conventional corporation and seeks only to protect itself from committing human rights abuses. This approach, typified by the (...)
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  • The Case for a Thick Shareholder Concept.Katherina Pattit & Jason Pattit - 2019 - Business and Society Review 124 (4):497-514.
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  • Individual Actions and Corporate Moral Responsibility: A (Reconstituted) Kantian Approach.Tobey Scharding - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):929-942.
    This paper examines the resources of Kantian ethics to establish corporate moral responsibility. I defend Matthew Altman’s claim that Kantian ethics cannot hold corporations morally responsible for corporate malfeasance. Rather than following Altman in interpreting this inability as a reason not to use Kantian ethics, however, I argue that the Kantian framework is correct: business ethicists should not seek to hold corporations morally responsible. Instead, they should use Kantian resources to criticize the actions of individual businesspeople. I set forth a (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility Gaps.Stephanie Collins - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):943-954.
    Which kinds of responsibility can we attribute to which kinds of collective, and why? In contrast, which kinds of collective responsibility can we not attribute—which kinds are ‘gappy’? This study provides a framework for answering these questions. It begins by distinguishing between three kinds of collective and three kinds of responsibility. It then explains how gaps—i.e. cases where we cannot attribute the responsibility we might want to—appear to arise within each type of collective responsibility. It argues some of these gaps (...)
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  • An Ethical Analysis of Emotional Labor.Bruce Barry, Mara Olekalns & Laura Rees - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 160 (1):17-34.
    Our understanding of emotional labor, while conceptually and empirically substantial, is normatively impoverished: very little has been said or written expressly about its ethical dimensions or ramifications. Emotional labor refers to efforts undertaken by employees to make their private feelings and/or public emotion displays consistent with job and organizational requirements. We formally define emotional labor, briefly summarize research in organizational behavior and social psychology on the causes and consequences of emotional labor, and present a normative analysis of its moral limits (...)
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  • The Management Nexus of Imperfect Duty: Kantian Views of Virtuous Relations, Reasoned Discourse, and Due Diligence.Richard Robinson - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 157 (1):119-136.
    A nexus of imperfect duty, defined as positive commitments that have practical limits, describes business behavior toward building affable and virtuous relations, maintaining reasoned social discourse, and performing the due diligence necessary for making knowledgeable business decisions. A theory of the development and extent of the limits of these imperfect managerial duties is presented here, a theory that in part explains the activities and personnel included under the firm’s umbrella. As a result, the nexus of imperfect duty is shown to (...)
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  • Corporate Beneficence and COVID-19.Daniel T. Ostas & Gastón de los Reyes - 2020 - Journal of Human Values 27 (1):15-26.
    This article explores the motives underlying corporate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis begins with Thomas Dunfee’s Statement of Minimum Moral Obligation, which specifies, more precisely than any other contribution to the business ethics canon, the level of corporate beneficence required during a pandemic. The analysis then turns to Milton Friedman’s neoliberal understanding of human nature, critically contrasting it with the notion of stoic virtue that informs the works of Adam Smith. Friedman contends that beneficence should play no role (...)
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  • Moral Agency in Charities and Business Corporations: Exploring the Constraints of Law and Regulation.Eleanor Burt & Samuel Mansell - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 159 (1):59-73.
    For centuries in the UK and elsewhere, charities have been widely regarded as admirable and virtuous organisations. Business corporations, by contrast, have been characterised in the popular imagination as entities that lack a capacity for moral judgement. Drawing on the philosophical literature on the moral agency of organisations, we examine how the law shapes the ability of charities and business corporations headquartered in England to exercise moral agency. Paradoxically, we find that charities are legally constrained in exercising moral agency in (...)
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  • Corporate Social Responsibility and the Supposed Moral Agency of Corporations.Matthew Lampert - 2016 - Ephemera 16 (1):79-105.
    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been traditionally framed within business ethics as a discourse attempting to identify certain moral responsibilities of corporations (as well as get these corporations to fulfill their responsibilities). This theory has often been normatively grounded in the idea that a corporation is (or ought to be treated as) a moral agent. I argue that it is a mistake to think of (or treat) corporations as moral agents, and that CSR’s impotency is a direct result of this (...)
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