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Edited by Andreas Georg Scherer and Guido Palazzo
Chapter 6: Business Ethics, Corporate Virtues and Corporate Citizenship
6 Business ethics, corporate virtues and corporate citizenship1 Robert C. Solomon In our culture we know of no organized movement towards power which is not bureaucratic and managerial in mode and we know of no justiﬁcations for authority other than those couched in terms of instrumental eﬀectiveness. (Alastair MacIntyre 1985) Corporations are places where both individual human beings and human communities engage in caring activities which are aimed at mutual support and unparalleled human achievement. (R. Edward Freeman and Jeanne Liedtka 1991) What is a corporation? In the recent ﬁlm, The Corporation, one of the most evident entities in contemporary society, the corporation, is treated as something of a Frankenstein monster, a benign creation of local governments that grew and grew, became not only self-conscious but megalomaniac, and now threatens to take over the world, destroying both nature and human beings in its pursuit of domination. Frankenstein’s monster, however, was recognizably human. Indeed, in Mary Shelley’s original version, he was quite a sympathetic creature, misunderstood and persecuted by the townspeople who were so terriﬁed of him. Defenders of the corporation would no doubt leap to this extended comparison, insisting that the corporation, like the ‘monster’, has been greatly misunderstood and wrongly persecuted. Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, who made this very successful documentary, chose to emphasize a very diﬀerent sense in which the corporation became a person, not by displaying sympathetic human traits but rather by way of a legal sleight of hand. Taking advantage of...
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