Excesses of Responsibility? – Reconsidering Company Liability

Journal of Business Ethics 64 (1):69-81 (2006)
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Abstract

Several areas of expanding corporate responsibilities are evident from current practices. This article penetrates one such field, economic compensation through litigation, and discusses the possibility and desirability of reversing the trend. In court, companies are fined increasing amounts for an ever wider range of faults, or they settle out of court under this legal threat. This is not a local American problem, but European companies are increasingly involved because of globalization. The development in Europe is also driven by the same factors as in America – the mechanics of litigation and conventional ethics. The greed of plaintiffs and lawyers can mobilize the perceived virtue of sympathizing with a victim. Therefore it seems likely that a precondition for tort reform is an ethical reevaluation. Is it desirable and politically possible to make the individual more responsible for his own fate?

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1969 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.

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