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
A COMMENTARY ON Michael P. Levine and Jacqueline Boaks (2014), “What Does Ethics Have to do with Leadership?” J Bus Ethics 124:225-242.
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.
To download the full PDF, click here: Schäfer and Hühn on Levine and Boaks
A COMMENTARY ON Thomas M. Jones and Will Felps (2013), “Shareholder Wealth Maximization and Social Welfare: A Utilitarian Critique” Bus Ethics Q 23(2): 207–238. http://doi.org/10.5840/beq201323215
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. Moreover, their defense of it relies on empirically unsubstantiated assumptions.
To download the full PDF, click here: von Kriegstein on Jones and Felps
A RESPONSE TO Daniel Layman (2016), “Expressive Objections to Markets: Normative, Not Symbolic”, Bus Ethics J Rev 4(1): 36–41.
Abstract: Daniel Layman’s “Expressive Objections to Markets: Normative, Not Symbolic” 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.
To download the full PDF, click here: Brennan and Jaworski Respond to Layman.