Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 14, 2003

Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting

Josetta McLaughlin, Gerald W. McLaughlin
Pages 43-51

Ian MacNeil’s Relational Contract Theory
Linking Legal Scholarship to Current Perspectives on Social Contract

This paper describes the work of Ian Macneil, a legal scholar advocating the use of a relational contract framework to analyze exchange relations. We present an overview of Macneil’s theory, followed by a brief comparison of his theory to four theories used by business scholars. We conclude that Macneil’s framework potentially serves as an umbrella under which other theories can be utilized to better describe behavior and the choices made.