Shareholder Theory and Kant’s ‘Duty of Beneficence’

Journal of Business Ethics 117 (3):583-599 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This article draws on the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant to explore whether a corporate ‘duty of beneficence’ to non-shareholders is consistent with the orthodox ‘shareholder theory’ of the firm. It examines the ethical framework of Milton Friedman’s argument and asks whether it necessarily rules out the well-being of non-shareholders as a corporate objective. The article examines Kant’s distinction between ‘duties of right’ and ‘duties of virtue’ (the latter including the duty of beneficence) and investigates their consistency with the shareholder theory. The article concludes that it is possible within the ethical framework of shareholder theory for managers to pursue directly the happiness of non-shareholders. Furthermore, shareholders have a duty to hold management to account for the moral consequences of the firm’s activities on non-shareholding stakeholders

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,621

External links

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

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Kantian practical love.Melissa Seymour Fahmy - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):313-331.
Kantian Beneficence and the Problem of Obligatory Aid.Karen Stohr - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1):45-67.
Kant’s Cosmopolitan Patriotism.Pauline Kleingeld - 2003 - Kant Studien 94 (3):299-316.
Kant on the Perfection of Others.Lara Denis - 1999 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):25-41.
Kant on Conscience, “Indirect” Duty, and Moral Error.Jens Timmermann - 2006 - International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3):293-308.
A Network Analysis of Shareholder Activism.Donald H. Schepers - 2007 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 18:351-356.
For Community's Sake: A (Self-Respecting) Kantian Account of Forgiveness.Kate A. Moran - forthcoming - Proceedings of the XI International Kant-Kongress.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-11-15

Downloads
84 (#180,935)

6 months
9 (#142,617)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas E. Hill & Arnulf Zweig.
The metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.

View all 40 references / Add more references