Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship
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Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship

Edited by Andreas Georg Scherer and Guido Palazzo

The Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship identifies and fosters key interdisciplinary research on corporate citizenship and provides a framework for further academic debate on corporate responsibility in a global society.
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Chapter 6: Business Ethics, Corporate Virtues and Corporate Citizenship

Robert C. Solomon


1 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 an Amendment to the American Constitution intended...

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