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1. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Peter M. Jaworski, Moving Beyond Market Failure: When the Failure is Government’s
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Joseph Heath lumps in rent-seeking with cartelization, taking advantage of information asymmetries, seeking a monopoly position, and so on, as all instances of behaviour that can lead to market failures in his market failures approach to business ethics. The problem is that rent and rentseeking, when they fail to deliver socially desirable outcomes, are instances of government failure. I try to argue that this is so, offer an amendment to Heath’s approach, and then explain why accurately describing the failure matters.
2. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 10
Glen Whelan, Political Corporate Social Responsibility: Some Clarifications: A Respnse to Pierre-Yves Néron
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Multinational corporations (MNCs) engage in various political activities, can have significant political impacts, and can be designed with different political concerns in mind. In arguing that there is much theorizing to do in these regards, I recently outlined a critical research agenda for what I term the political perspective of corporate social responsibility (or political CSR for short). Whilst Néron acknowledges that the agenda I set out is important and valuable, he also suggests that the label I use – i.e., political CSR – is too constraining. I here make a number of clarifications that explain why this is not the case.
3. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 11
Javier Hidalgo, Do Employers Have Obligations to Pay Their Workers a Living Wage?
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Jeremy Snyder argues that employers have obligations to pay their workers a living wage if workers stand in relationships of dependence with their employers. I argue that Snyder’s argument for this conclusion faces a dilemma. Snyder can adopt either a descriptive or a moralized account of dependence. If Snyder adopts a descriptive account, then it is false that dependence activates obligations to pay a living wage. If Snyder endorses a moralized account of dependence, then Snyder’s argument is circular. So, Snyder’s argument fails to establish that employers have obligations to pay their workers a living wage.
4. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 12
Abraham Singer, What is the Best Way to Argue Against the Profit-Maximization Principle?
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This brief paper engages with Hussain’s critique of what he refers to as the “efficiency argument for profit maximization.” Here I argue that Hussain’s strategy of seeing the corporation as an extension of the private sphere is not a very effective way of challenging the profit-maximization norm.
5. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 13
Jeremy Snyder, Disregard and Dependency
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Although Hidalgo (2013) accurately identifies mine as a moralized account of dependence, he misconstrues the role it plays in my (2008) argument. A specified duty of beneficence is not based on the dependency of one person on another, but on the idea that our relationships with others provide the opportunity to disregard specific others’ basic needs. Hidalgo (2013: 74) thus misattributes to me the view that “relationships of dependence activate special obligations.” Only by conflating my argument for a specified duty of beneficence with my use of dependency to limit and clarify the extent of these demands, does my argument appear circular.
6. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 14
Waheed Hussain, Tools and Marriages
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Singer thinks that my argument does not give adequate consideration to the role that markets play in Jensen’s work. The problem with this objection is that Singer considers only the perspective of those who transact with corporations, not the perspective of those who participate in them. I think that there is actually less distance between my view and Singer’s view than it may seem. In a sense, I share Singer’s “political view” of the corporation, but I conceive of the corporation as a legal institution, rather than an extension of the state or a concession provided by the state.
7. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 15
Michael Buckley, On the Essential Nature of Business
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Alexei Marcoux has argued that business ethics should focus less on organizational form and more on business practice. He suggests that a definition of ‘business’ as “a(n intentionally) self-sustaining, transactionseeking and transaction-executing practice” can help facilitate this shift by attuning researchers to the essential activity of business. I argue that this definition has troubling implications for a practice-based approach to business ethics, and that anyone advocating such an approach would be better served by treating ‘business’ as a cluster concept.
8. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 16
Hamish van der Ven, Bringing Values Back into CSR
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Why do companies pursue CSR? I concur with Christian Thauer that intraorganizational dynamics are important, but find his focus on managerial dilemmas unconvincing. I counter by suggesting that a renewed focus on managerial values can help explain CSR when external conditions are held constant.
9. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 17
Thomas Beschorner, Creating Shared Value: The One-Trick Pony Approach
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Although Michael Porter’s and Marc Kramer’s article “Creating Shared Value” is a welcome attempt to mainstream business ethics among management practitioners, it is neither so radical nor such a departure from standard management thinking as the authors make it seem. Porter’s and Kramer’s criticism and rejection of corporate social responsibility depends upon a straw man conception of CSR and their ultimate reliance on economic arguments is too normatively thin to do the important work of reconnecting businesses with society. For these reasons, prospects for a genuine reinvention of capitalism lie elsewhere.
10. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 18
David Ohren, The Limits of Empathy in Business Ethics Education
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This paper challenges Cohen’s application of empathy to business ethics education. I argue Cohen fails to adequately address the problems of empathetic penetrability and accuracy in regards to reading other’s minds. Given these problems, I conclude empathy may be less important as an antecedent to moral action than Cohen suggests.