Volume 18, 2007
Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting
Tibor R. Machan
Altruism (Stakeholder Theory) Versus Business Ethics
Stakeholder theory is now nearly mainstream among business ethics and business and society scholars but it has serious problems. One is well communicated by a quote from W. H. Auden: "We are here on earth to do good for others. What the others are here for, I don't know." More to the point, stakeholder theory violates private property rights and freedom of association. It makes of people in business involuntary servants of "society," mainly of self-appointed moralists. This paper explores stakeholder theory or CSR along these lines.