Moral Commitments and the Societal Role of Business: An Ordonomic Approach to Corporate Citizenship

Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (3):375-401 (2009)
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This article introduces an “ordonomic” approach to corporate citizenship. We believe that ordonomics offers a conceptual framework for analyzing both the social structure and the semantics of moral commitments. We claim that such an analysis can provide theoretical guidance for the changing role of business in society, especially in regard to the expectation and trend that businesses take a political role and act as corporate citizens. The systematicraison d'êtreof corporate citizenship is that business firms can and—judged by the criterion of prudent self-interest—“should” take on an active role in rule-finding discourses and rule-setting processes with the intent of realizing a win-win outcome of the economic game. We identify—and illustrate—four ways that corporate citizens can employ moral commitments as a factor of production to enhance their processes of economic value creation.



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