The ethics of consumer sovereignty in an age of high tech

Journal of Business Ethics 28 (1):1 - 14 (2000)
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Abstract

We argue that consumer sovereignty in an increasingly high tech world is more of a fiction than a fact. We show how the principle of consumer sovereignty that governs the societal impact of economic competition is no longer valid. The world of high tech is increasingly responsible for changes in the opportunity, ability, and motivation of business firms to compete. Furthermore, the world of high tech is increasingly responsible for changes in the opportunity, ability, and motivation of consumers to engage in rational decision making. We conclude that we cannot rely on consumer sovereignty to maintain a thriving economy. Instead, we need to develop performance standards designed to meet the demands of the various stakeholders of the organization.

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