Journal of Business Ethics 83 (3):565-577 (2008)

Abstract
In this article, I explore how the ideas of French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas offer insights into a debate often held today in the field of corporate governance, concerning the relative merits of statutory and voluntary approaches to the regulation of business. The philosophical position outlined by Levinas questions whether any rule-based systematisation of ethical responsibility, either statutory or voluntary, can ever equate to a genuine responsibility for the other person. I reflect on how various authors have adapted Levinas’s philosophy to form a critique of bureaucracy and rule following in business, and the lack of ethical authenticity in corporate codes. However, this article also considers the question of whether a theoretical separation can be made between an ethical responsibility based on sensibility (as is suggested by Levinas) and a rational conceptualisation of how one is required to act. Considering the difficulty of disentangling these notions of ethics, I return to the problem of corporate governance and suggest an approach to stakeholder conflict based on mediation and dialogue, which rules out neither principles of conduct nor an openness of responsibility to the Other.
Keywords Levinas  corporate governance  corporate regulation  the Other  dialogue  mediation  rationality  bureaucracy
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9639-2
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References found in this work BETA

Managing for Organizational Integrity.Lynn S. Paine - 1994 - Harvard Business Review 72 (2):106-117.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Dynamic Stakeholder Model: An Other‐Oriented Ethical Approach.Akram Hatami & Naser Firoozi - 2019 - Business Ethics: A European Review 28 (3):349-360.
Levinasian Ethics in Business.V. Blok - 2017 - In D. Poff & A. Michalos (eds.). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

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