by ronald f white ph d professor of philosophy college of mount st joseph
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Corporations. By: Ronald F. White, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy College of Mount St. Joseph. Introduction. Two Issues What is a corporation and what does a manager do? Descriptive scientific theories What is a “Good” corporation and what does a “Good” manager do?

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by ronald f white ph d professor of philosophy college of mount st joseph
Corporations

By: Ronald F. White, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy

College of Mount St. Joseph

slide2
Introduction
  • Two Issues
    • What is a corporation and what does a manager do?
      • Descriptive scientific theories
    • What is a “Good” corporation and what does a “Good” manager do?
      • Prescriptive moral theories
slide3
Introduction
  • Questions about Corporations
  • Descriptive Scientific Theories-
    • What is a Corporation?”
      • Social science
        • Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Economics
      • Biology
        • Evolutionary biology
  • Prescriptive Moral Theories-
    • What is a “good corporation?”
      • Teleological: “good consequences”
      • Deontological: “rights-based”
      • Virtue-Based: “human excellence”
slide4
What is Business Ethics?
  • The Moral Landscape
    • Relationship between “Descriptive Facts” and “Prescriptive Values”
    • Moral Theory
      • Rights-Based (Enlightenment Deontology)
      • Consequentialism (Teleology: egoism, utilitarianism))
      • Virtue-Based (Aristotelian/Judeo-Christian)
  • The “Is-Ought Gap?”
    • Descriptive Egoism and/or Altruism
      • Is there a naturalistic foundation for altruistic cooperative human behavior or is it solely the product of social learning?
    • Prescriptive Egoism and/or Altruism
      • Is altruistic cooperative human behavior “Good” and if so, “ought it be preserved and or cultivated?
  • Legality v. Morality
    • Liberal (Kant: “good citizen” vs. “good person”)
    • Communitarian (good citizen=good person)
  • Theory of the Firm
    • Nexus-of-Contracts Theory
      • Stockholder theory (Locke)
      • Stakeholder theory (Kant)
    • Agency Theory
slide5
Nexus-of-Contracts Theory
  • Orthodoxy is business management and business ethics is currently occupied by a deontological “Nexus-of-Contracts Theory,” whereby: “Each constituency or stakeholder group bargains with the firm over a set of rights that will protect the firm specific assets that it makes available for production.” (Boatright p. 1837)
slide6
Stockholder Management Theory
  • Human Nature
    • Individuals, Rationality, Self Interest, Free Will
  • Classical Liberalism (Locke-Nozick)
    • Life, Liberty, and Property
    • Persons/Property
    • Invisible Hand
    • Role of Government in Human Affairs
    • Natural and Artificial Monopolies
  • Obligations to Stockholders
    • Corporations as “Money Machines”
  • Agency Theory
slide7
Stakeholder Management Theory
  • Human Nature
    • Individuals, Rationality, Self Interest, Free Will
  • Welfare Liberalism (Kant-Rawls)
    • Life, Liberty, and Property
    • Persons/Property
    • Invisible Hand
    • Role of Government in Human Affairs
      • Natural Advantage and Rights
    • Corporations as Persons
    • Stakeholders
      • Stockholders
      • Employees
      • Consumers
      • Society
      • Government
slide8
Agency Theory
  • Machiavellian Background
  • Jensen and Meckling: “Theory of the Firm” (1976)
    • Conflict of interest between contracting parties
      • (shareholders, corporate managers, debt managers etc.)
  • Conceptual Framework-
    • Contractual Obligations
    • Trust
    • Principals (owners)
    • Agents (managers)
    • Behavior of Principles and Agents
      • Delegation of Authority from Principle to Agent
        • Incentives and Monitoring-
      • Problem of Self-Interest-
      • Agency and Moral hazard: Who bears cost? Who enjoys Benefits?
slide9
Issues
  • Moral Relationships Between:
    • Corporate Agents and Stockholders
    • Corporations and Employees
    • Corporations and Society
    • Corporations and other Corporations
    • Corporations and Government
      • Regulation of Corporations
        • Competition
        • Morality
          • Utility
          • Beneficence
          • Non-Maleficence
          • Justice
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