Participation versus Consent: Should Corporations Be Run according to Democratic Principles?

Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (4):533-563 (2014)

Abstract

ABSTRACT:The notion of “democracy” has become a much-debated concept in scholarship on business ethics, management, and organization studies. The strategy of this paper is to distinguish between a principle of organization that fosters participation and a principle of legitimation that draws on consent. Based on this distinction, we highlight conceptual shortcomings of the literature on stakeholder democracy. We demonstrate that parts of the literature tend to confound ends with means. Many approaches employ type I democracy notions of participation and often take for granted that this also improves type II democratic legitimation. We hold this to be a mistake. We provide examples of the ambiguity of organizational procedures and show that under some circumstances a decrease in the degree of participation may actually increase legitimation because a governance structure that results in higher productivity can provide higher benefits for all parties involved, serve their interests and therefore meet their agreement. Less type I democracy may mean more type II democracy. We believe this to be an important insight for judging the legitimacy of both capitalistic firms and competitive markets.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-11-23

Downloads
31 (#373,016)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

Consenting to Geoengineering.Pak-Hang Wong - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (2):173-188.
Democratic Process.David T. Risser - 1999 - In Christopher B. Gray (ed.), The Philosophy of Law: An Encyclopedia (vol. 1). Garland Publishing, Inc.:193-195.
Differences in Moral Values Between Corporations.Paul C. Nystrom - 1990 - Journal of Business Ethics 9 (12):971 - 979.
Pure Contractarianism: Promise, Problems, Prospects.Robert Bass - 2000 - Journal of Value Inquiry 34 (2-3):319-332.
A Defense of Subsequent Consent.Eric Chwang - 2009 - Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (1):117-131.
Democracy and Informed Consent.Tamayo Okamoto - 1990 - Dissertation, Michigan State University