v5n4: Kline on Schleper on Exploitation and Just Prices

Exploitation and Just Price Theory by William Kline

A COMMENTARY ON Schleper, M., C. Blome, and D. Wuttke, D. (2015), “The Dark Side of Buyer Power: Supplier Exploitation and the Role of Ethical Climates,” J Bus Ethics 140(1): 97-114. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2681-6

Schleper, Blome, and Wuttke attempt to use just price theory to define exploitation. According to the authors, a competitive market equilibrium defines a just price. When certain asymmetries in bargaining power exist, trading at any lower price constitutes unethical exploitation. I argue that a competitive market equilibrium does not provide a price that could be considered just by their own standards, and thus fails to ground a theory of exploitation.

To download the full PDF, click here: Kline on Schleper

William Kline, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Business Administration at University of Illinois, Springfield. His personal website is here.

v5 n3 Smith on Singer on Justice Failure

Jeffery SmithWhy Justice Matters for Business Ethics by Jeffery Smith

A COMMENTARY ON Abraham Singer (2016), “Justice Failure: Efficiency and Equality in Business Ethics,” J Bus Ethics OnlineFirst, http://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3086-x

In a recent critique of the so-called “market failures approach” (MFA) to business ethics Abraham Singer maintains that business firms have ethical responsibilities to voluntarily restrain their profit-seeking activities in accordance with the demands of justice. While I ultimately share Singer’s intuition that the MFA has overlooked the importance of justice in business ethics, I argue that he has not presented a fully adequate case to explain why justice-related responsibilities should be assigned to business firms. I conclude by offering a brief – and supportive – alternative to his position.

To download the full PDF, click here: Smith on Singer

v5 n2 Welch and Ly on the Justice of Corporate Governance

“Rawls on the Justice of Corporate Governance” by Theodora Welch and Minh Ly

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

v5 n1 Zakhem on Storsletten & Jakobsen on Kierkegaard and Leadership

abe_zakhem“Kierkegaard and Leadership Theory, a Radical Reappraisal” by Abe J. Zakhem

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

v4 n9 Brennan and Jaworski Respond to Taylor on ‘Markets Without WHAT Limits?’

Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski“I’ll Pay You Ten Bucks Not to Murder Me” by Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski

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.

v4 n8 Moriarty Responds to Barbeau

“The Demands of Stakeholder Theory for Corporate Governance” by Jeffrey Moriarty

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

v4 n7 Taylor on Brennan and Jaworski on Markets Without Limits

James.S.Taylor“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