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31. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 10
David Silver Competition, Value Creation and the Self-Understanding of Business
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In defense of his Market Failures Approach to business ethics Joseph Heath relies on an understanding of business as essentially oriented towards competition and profit maximization. In these remarks I defend an alternative understanding of business that is centered on the creation of valuable goods and services. It is preferable because it: (a) creates less pressure to take advantage of vulnerable stakeholders, (b) can readily recognize “beyond compliance” norms that do not relate to efficiency, (c) provides a more meaningful framework for people who work in and with corporations, (d) may mitigate negative moral impacts outside the market, and (e) better captures the range of what actually counts as business activity.
32. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Jason Brennan, Peter Jaworski Klotzes and Glotzes, Semiotics and Embodying Normative Stances
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Daniel Layman attempts to critique our recent paper debunking semiotic objections to commodification. Semiotic objections hold that commodifying certain goods and services is wrong because doing so expresses disrespect for the things in question. Layman claims instead that the problem is that such markets “embody” the “wrong norms” or the “wrong deliberative stance.” Given the length-requirements, we, at the moment, need to hear a lot more about the difference between “embodying” a norm, and expressing it. As far as we can tell at the moment, we’re suspicious that he might be begging the question, or just re-describing semiotic objections in a more obscure way.
33. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Hasko von Kriegstein Armchair versus Armchair: Let’s Not Try to Guess the Social Value of Corporate Objectives
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Jones and Felps claim that social welfare would be enhanced, if corporate managers adopted the goal of directly improving the happiness of their stakeholders instead of profit maximization. I argue that their argument doesn’t establish this. They show that a utilitarian case for profit orientation cannot be made from the armchair. But neither can the case for Jones and Felps’ preferred alternative. And their defense of it relies on empirically unsubstantiated assumptions.
34. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 4
Viktoria Ramona Schäfer, Matthias Philip Hühn How Much Aristotle Is in Levine and Boaks’s Leadership Theory?
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Levine and Boaks criticize the extant leadership literature for misrepresenting the connection between ethics and leadership. They propose a definition that they claim is novel and based on Aristotelian virtue ethics. This commentary argues that this approach, while it is an interesting idea, is essentially un-Aristotelian and that other approaches, for instance Alejo Sison’s and Joanne Ciulla’s are not only closer to Aristotle, but also do not have the problems that the authors identify in the mainstream of the leadership literature.
35. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 5
Christian R. Thauer The Choice for CSR: Strategic Rationale versus Values?
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In a recent Commentary, Hamish van der Ven criticizes my strategic rationale-based approach to why firms decide to adopt and implement CSR standards. He argues that my approach is analytically flawed; rather than strategic rationale, values motivate firms in favor of CSR. In this response, I explain why I disagree with his criticism and approach. I maintain that strategic rationale, not values, drive firms’ decision-making for CSR.
36. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 6
Aimee E. Barbeau Deliberative Democracy and Corporate Governance
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Jeffrey Moriarty argues for a return to a robust notion of stakeholder theory involving direct procedural voting by stakeholders. He asserts that such voting offers the best possible chance of restraining firm behavior and taking into account all stakeholder interests. I argue, however, that Moriarty proceeds with an overly narrow conception of democracy, ignoring problems that arise from procedural voting. Specifically, paradoxes in voting procedures, the tyranny of the majority, and the inefficacy of representation advantage well-organized and moneyed interests. A stakeholder democracy may in fact undermine the very interests that Moriarty seeks to promote.
37. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 7
James Stacey Taylor What Limits Should Markets be Without?
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In Markets Without Limits Brennan and Jaworski defend the view that there are “no legitimate worries about what we buy, trade, and sell.” But rather than being a unified defense of this position Brennan and Jaworski unwittingly offer three distinct pro-commodification views—two of which are subject to counterexamples. This Commentary will clarify what should be the thesis of their volume and identify the conditions that any counterexample to this must meet.
38. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 8
Jeffrey Moriarty The Demands of Stakeholder Theory for Corporate Governance
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Aimee Barbeau advances a thoughtful critique of my article, “The Connection Between Stakeholder Theory and Stakeholder Democracy: An Excavation and Defense.” Although Barbeau does much to push forward the debate about corporate governance, she does it without undermining my thesis. For what Barbeau has shown is not that stakeholder theorists should not endorse stakeholder boards of directors, but that they should also endorse other ways for stakeholders to participate in decision-making processes within firms.
39. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 9
Jason Brennan, Peter Jaworski I’ll Pay You Ten Bucks Not to Murder Me
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James Stacey Taylor offers three interpretations of our thesis, and argues that only one of them goes through. His point is to clarify our view rather than critique our position. In this brief response, we argue that, upon further clarification, we could endorse at least one of the other interpretations, though as Taylor notes, we don’t need to for our book’s thesis to go through.
40. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Abe J. Zakhem Kierkegaard and Leadership Theory, a Radical Reappraisal
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Storsletten and Jakobsen (2015) try to integrate the instrumental, responsible, and spiritual positions in leadership studies with Kierkegaard’s aesthetic, ethical, and religious modes of existence. Their combination of leadership theory and Kierkegaardian thought, however, seems deeply problematic. In particular, the instrumental-aesthetic and responsible-ethical connections appear weak or at least significantly underdeveloped, and the spiritual-religious connection seems logically inconsistent.