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11. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Jeffery Smith Corporate Human Rights Obligations: Moral or Political?
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This discussion reviews Florian Wettstein’s conclusion that multinational corporations should assume greater “positive” obligations to protect against and remedy violations of human rights. It thereafter suggests an alternative to his defense that remains open to his conclusion, but sketches a moral, rather than political, grounding of those obligations.
12. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Pierre-Yves Néron Toward A Political Theory of the Business Firm? A Comment on “Political CSR”
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Glen Whelan (2012) attempts to advance what he refers to as a “critical research agenda” for the “political perspective on corporate social responsibility (CSR).” Although I think his is a worthy attempt to build a political conception of the business firm and could represent a great intellectual journey, I make some remarks about the meaning and scope of this research agenda. My argument is simple: Rawlsian egalitarianism provides resources for a political theory of the business firm, but one that leads us in different directions than Whelan’s political CSR.
13. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Matt Zwolinski Are Usurious? Another New Argument For the Prohibition of High Interest Loans?
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Robert Mayer argues that certain kinds of high-interest payday loans should be legally prohibited. His reasoning is that such lending practices compel more solvent borrowers to cross-subsidize less solvent ones, and thus involve a kind of negative externality. But even if such crosssubsidization exists, I argue, this does not necessarily provide a ground for legal prohibition. Such behavior might be a necessary component of a competitive market that provides opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions to willing customers. And the alternative of a governmentmandated interest rate faces severe problems of its own.
14. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 5
Dominic Martin The Unification Challenge
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Wayne Norman argues that there should be more similarity or unity between the justifications for markets and the extra-legal norms that apply to market agents. I question two aspects of his claim. First, why does Norman refer to this view as a view about the self-regulation of market agents? Agents could self-regulate with many different norms, not necessarily norms informed by the justifications for markets. Second, asking for more similarity might create problems in terms of the liberty of market agents to pursue other morally relevant objectives. How are we to balance these other relevant objectives and the objectives of markets?
15. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 6
Laura P. Hartman, Patricia H. Werhane Proposition: Shared Value as an Incomplete Mental Model
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Much of the attention of ethics scholars has focused on balancing self interest with the interests of others, equating self-interest with profit, or at least its acquisition, and presenting a dilemma to both companies and the stakeholder groups that socially responsible business practices might serve. We are in significant agreement with Porter and Kramer’s silver bullet to correct decision making based solely on increasing profit: the creation of “shared value.” However, we suggest three significant points of deviation from this thesis, resulting from our discomfort with features of the mental model(s) that Porter and Kramer use to structure their argument.
16. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 7
Robert Mayer The Cost of Usury
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When states deregulate the price of payday loans, most consumers will pay more for emergency cash than when a moderate usury cap is imposed. But advocates of price deregulation, including Matt Zwolinski, fail to discuss the distributive effects of their favored policy or to explain why most borrowers should pay more than is necessary for a cash advance. The objections Zwolinski raises against my argument for imposing a usury ceiling in this market miss the mark because they do not justify the increased cost consumers must bear when the price of a payday loan is allowed to float.
17. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 8
Joseph Heath Market Failure or Government Failure? A Response to Jaworski
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Peter Jaworski objects to my “market failures” approach to business ethics on the grounds that in some cases I have mislabeled as “market failure” what are in fact instances of "government failure." While acknowledging that my overall approach might better be referred to as “Paretian,” I resist Jaworski's specific criticism. I argue that the term government failure should not be used to describe market transactions that are made less efficient through government intervention, but should be reserved for cases in which the market mechanism has been suspended and the transaction is occurring, inefficiently, through the organizational power of the state.
18. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 1 > Issue: 9
Florian Wettstein Morality Meet Politics, Politics Meet Morality: Exploring the Political in Political Responsibility
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This brief response to Smith focuses on his distinction between moral and political responsibility in general and how it relates to human rights in particular. I argue that the notion of political responsibility as it is used in the debate on political CSR often does not exclude morality but is based on it.
19. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Marc A. Cohen Empathy in Business Ethics Education Redux
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My original paper (Cohen 2012) argued that business ethics education should focus on cultivating empathetic concern. This response clarifies terminology used in that paper and responds to criticisms presented by David Ohreen (2013).
20. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Matthew Sinnicks Mastery of One’s Domain Is Not the Essence of Management
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I attempt to cast doubt on Beabout’s attempt to build on MacIntyre’s ethical theory by accounting for management as a ‘domain-relative’ practice for three reasons: i) we can partially engage in practices, so if management can be accounted a practice there is no need to invoke domain-relativity; ii) management does not seem to be domain-relative in the same way that other examples of domain-relative practices might be; and iii) practical wisdom, which Beabout sees as key to management as a domain-relative practice, is adequately covered by MacIntyre’s account of politics.