The Moral Responsibility of Firms

by Eric W. Orts

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Individuals are generally considered morally responsible for their actions. Who or what is responsible when those individuals become part of business organizations? Can we correctly ascribe moral responsibility to the organization itself? If so, what are the grounds for this claim and to what extent do the individuals also remain morally responsible? If not, does moral responsibility fall entirely to specific individuals within the organization and can they be
readily identified?

A perennial question in business ethics has concerned the extent to which business organizations can be correctly said to have moral responsibilities and obligations. In philosophical terms, this is a question of "corporate moral agency." Whether firms can be said to be moral agents and to have the capacity for moral responsibility has significant practical consequences. In most legal systems in the world, business firms are recognized as "persons" with the ability to own property, to maintain
and defend lawsuits, and to self-organize governance structures. To recognize that these "business persons" can also act morally or immorally as organizations, however, would justify the imposition of other legal constraints and normative expectations on organizations. In the criminal law, for
example, the idea that an organized firm may itself have criminal culpability is accepted in many countries (such as the United States) but rejected in others (such as Germany).

This book collects new contributions by leading business scholars in business ethics, philosophy, and related disciplines to extend our understanding of the "moral responsibility of firms."




















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The Moral Responsibility of Firms
No doubt the truth is that different answers will be given in different contexts to different kinds of moral questions: a multi-faceted topic deserving a great deal of future thinking and researchNThe existential question In short, firms existDespite some strong arguments to the contrary which highlight some dangers involved, I am persuaded by the presentations of Michael Bratman, Peter French, Katsuhito Iwai, Phillip Pettit, and others that it makes sense to find that business firms can be accurately described as having the capacity for moral responsibility at the collective levelWho or what is responsible when those individuals become part of business organizations? Can we correctly ascribe moral responsibility to the organization itself? If so, what are the grounds for this claim and to what extent do the individuals also remain morally responsible? If not, does moral responsibility fall entirely to specific individuals within the organization and can they be readily identified? A perennial question in business ethics has concerned the extent to which business organizations can be correctly said to have moral responsibilities and obligationsTo recognize that these "business persons" can also act morally or immorally as organizations, however, would justify the imposition of other legal constraints and normative expectations on organizationsOnly 1 left in stock (more on the way)Troubling cases which some say the recent financial crisis revealed may exist in which the complex structure of business enterprise combines with principles of limited liability to allow for both firms themselves and individuals within them to elude accountabilityOur hallmark from day one remains fresh, actionable, original and syndicated content daily all presented in a polished, user-friendly formatN Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog, helping you find library materials onlineFollow INSEAD Knowledge on Twitter and Facebook Who Is Morally Responsible: The Individual or the Firm? Related articles Could Your Leadership Style Be Influencing Bad Behaviour? October 16, 2014 The Moral Responsibility of Firms: For or Against? March 21, 2014 Corporations Are Not People Too March 21, 2014 Add a comment Already a member? Sign In Nickname * E-mail * Title Comment * Notify me when new comments are posted All comments Replies to my comment E-mail CAPTCHAThis question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.Share: Also of Interest The Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior David CPassword recoveryRecover your passwordyour email In philosophical terms, the question is posed as one of the moral agency of organisationsDetails Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits youEnter your name: The subject field is requiredGift-wrap availableOrts, Guardsmark Professor; Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics and Management; Director, Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania,NGovernment plays a role in the recognition of firms through top-down regulationEdit with Live CSS SaveWrite CSS OR LESS and hit saveKey legal relationships within business firms include agency authority, organisational contracts, and collectively owned propertyGiulia Rossi, 06.07.2017 at 11.15 am Drunk on Vodka and Marketing OK, I admit that it is in the - OK, I admit that it is in the mail in the beautiful picture to attract thisYour recently viewed items and featured recommendations : View or edit your browsing history After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested inPrint E-mail E-mail All fields are requiredOrtsPaperback18.99 Amazon Prime Next Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App 07f867cfac
Eric W.</br>“Climate Contracts“, Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 2011: 29, 197 – 236Craig SmithGuardsmark Professor Director, Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics and ManagementLEGAL STUDIES & BUSINESS ETHICS DepartmentPenn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Eric W ..</br><a href=Personal To Do List (To Do Notebook)
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