A COMMENTARY ON Abraham Singer (2015), “There Is No Rawlsian Theory of Corporate Governance,” Bus Ethics Q 25(1): 65–92 http://doi.org/10.1017/beq.2015.1
Abraham Singer argues that Rawlsian theories of justice cannot apply to corporate governance and business ethics. On Singer’s view, Rawls regards business corporations as voluntary associations outside of the basic structure, which is the only site where justice applies. In this comment, we show the importance of Rawlsian theory to central questions of corporate governance. The corporation should be considered part of the basic structure, because it is part of society’s system of productive social cooperation. Rawls’ proposal for a property-owning democracy also raises crucial corporate governance issues concerning the proper owners of the firm, and the separation of ownership and control.
To download the full PDF, click here: Welch & Ly on Singer
A COMMENTARY ON Vivi Storsletten and Ove Jakobsen (2015), “Development of Leadership Theory in the Perspective of Kierkegaard’s Philosophy,” J Bus Ethics 128(2): 337–349, http://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2106-y
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.
To download the full PDF, click here: Zakhem on Storsletten & Jakobsen
A RESPONSE TO James Stacey Taylor (2016), “What Limits Should Markets be Without?”, Bus Ethics J Rev 4(7): 41–46.
Abstract: 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.
To download the full PDF, click here: Brennan and Jaworski Respond to Taylor.
A RESPONSE TO Aimee Barbeau (2016), “Deliberative Democracy and Corporate Governance”, Bus Ethics J Rev 4(6): 34–40.
Abstract: 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.
To download the full PDF, click here: Moriarty Responds to Barbeau
“What Limits Should Markets be Without?” by James Stacey Taylor
A COMMENTARY ON Jason Brennan and Peter M. Jaworski (2016), Markets Without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests (New York: Routledge)
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 counter-example to this must meet.
To download the full PDF, click here: Taylor on Brennan and Jaworski
A COMMENTARY ON Jeffrey Moriarty (2014), “The Connection Between Stakeholder Theory and Stakeholder Democracy: An Excavation and Defense,” Bus & Soc 53(6): 820–852. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0007650312439296
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.
To download the full PDF, click here: Barbeau on Moriarty
A RESPONSE TO Hamish van der Ven (2013), “Bringing Values Back into CSR”, Bus Ethics J Rev 1(16): 99–105.
Abstract: 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.
To download the full PDF, click here: Thauer responds to van der Ven