Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The Fragile Structure of Free-Market Society: The Radical Implications of Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Wim Dubbink
Abstract:

In this article thinking on corporate social responsibility (CSR) is compared with the dominant political theory of the market: the neoclassical theory. The comparison shows that thinking on CSR fundamentally collides with that theory. For example, their respective normative views on man are incompatible, as are their respective views on the modus operandi of the market. Given that CSR is desirable it follows that a new political theory of the market is needed. This article suggests some initial steps toward developing that new political theory of the market. For example, it defends the proposition that the neoclassical idea of the market as a harmonic sphere must be replaced by the idea of the market as a fragile system.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Alec Gee, J. 1991. “The Neoclassical School.” In A Modern Guide to Economic Thought, ed. Mair, D. and Miller, A.. (Brookfield: Edward Elgar): 71108.
Arrow, K. J. 1973. “Social Responsibility and Economic Efficiency.” Public Policy 21: 303317.
Baumol, W. J. 1952/1965. Welfare Economics and the Theory of the State (London: London School of Economics / University of London).
Baumol, W. J. 1975. “Business Responsibility and Economic Behavior,” in Managing the Socially Responsible Corporation, ed. Anshen, M. (London: MacMillan): 5974.
Baumol, W. J., and Blackman, S. J. Batey. 1991. Perfect Markets and Easy Virtue: Business Ethics and the Invisible Hand.
Beauchamp, T. 1982/1991. Philosophical Ethics. An Introduction to Moral Philosophy (2nd edition) (New York: McGraw-Hill).
de Beus, J. W. 1989. Markt, Democratie en Vrijheid. Een Politiek-Economische Studie. (Zwolle: Tjeenk Willink).
Blaug, M. 1992/1996. Economic Theory in Retrospect (5th edition) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Boatright, J. R. 1993/2000. Ethics and the Conduct of Business (3rd edition) (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall).
Boatright, J. R. 1999. “Does Business Ethics Rest on a Mistake?” In Business Ethics Quarterly 9(4) (October): 583592.
Buchanan, A. 1985. Ethics, Efficiency and the Market (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Carrol, A. B. 2000. “Ethical Challenges for Business in the New Millennium: Corporate Social Responsibility and Modes of Management Morality.” Business Ethics Quarterly 10(1) (January): 3342.
Coase, R. 1988. “The Firm, the Market and the Law.” In The Firm, the Market and the Law, ed. Coase, R. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press): 17.
Cobden, R. 1867. The Political Writings (in 2 volumes) (London: William Ridgway).
Cohen, J. L., and Arato, A.. 1992. Civil Society and Political Theory (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press).
Dahl, R. A. 1970. After the Revolution? (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press).
Dahl, R. A.. 1986. Democracy, Liberty and Equality (Oslo: Norwegian University Press).
Dahl, R. A.. 1989. Democracy and its Critics. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press).
De George, R. T. 1982/1999. Business Ethics. (5th edition) (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall).
Dewey, J. (and Boydston, J. A.. [ed.]). 1980. Ethics. The Middle Works, Volume 5: 1905 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press).
Dewey, J. 1985. Ethics. The Later Works, Volume 7: 1932. (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press).
Dodd, E. 1932. “For Whom are Corporate Managers Trustees?” In Harvard Law Review 45: 11451157.
Donaldson, T. 1982. Corporations and Morality. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall).
Donaldson, T. 2000. “Are Business Managers ‘Professionals’?” in Business Ethics Quarterly 10(1) (January): 8394.
Donaldson, T., and Preston, L. R.. 1995. “The Stakeholder Theory of the Corporation: Concepts, Evidence and Implications,” in Academy of Management Review 20(1): 6591.
Drucker, P. F. 1974. Management. Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (London: Heinemann).
Dubbink, W. 2003. Assisting the Invisible Hand. Contested Relations between Market, State and Civil Society. Issues in Business Ethics xx (Dordrecht: Kluwer).
Eijgelshoven, P. J., Nentjes, A., and Velthoven, B. C. J. van. 1993. Markten en overheid. (Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff).
Engelen, E. 1995. De mythe van de markt. Waarheid en leugen in de economie (Amsterdam).
Etzioni, A. 1988. The Moral Dimension. Toward a New Economics (New York: Free Press / MacMillan).
Evan, W. M., and Freeman, R. E.. 1995. “A Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation: Kantian Capitalism.” In Business Ethics: Readings and Cases in Corporate Morality, ed. Hoffman, W. M. and Frederick, R. E. (3rd edition) (New York: McGraw-Hill): 145153.
Frederick, W. M., Post, J. E., and Davis, K.. 1966/1992. Business and Society. Corporate Strategy, Public Policy and Ethics (7th edition) (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Freeman III, A. M., Kneese, A. V., and Haveman, R. H.. 1973. The Economics of Environmental Policy (New York: J. Wiley and Sons).
Freeman, R. E., and Phillips, R. A.. 2002. “Stakeholder Theory: a Libertarian Defense.” Business Ethics Quarterly 12(3): 331350.
Friedman, M. 1962. Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago).
Friedman, M. 1970. “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.” The New York Times Magazine (13 September).
Galbraith, J. K. 1958/1991. The Affluent Society (4th edition) (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books).
Galbraith, J. K. 1987. A History of Economics. The Past as Present (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books).
Gauthier, D. 1986. Morals by Agreement (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Habermas, J. 1981. Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (2 vols.) (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp).
Habermas, J. 1992. Faktizität und Geltung. (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp).
Hausman, D. M., and McPherson, M. S.. 1993. “Taking Ethics Seriously: Economics and Contemporary Moral Philosophy.” Journal of Economic Literature 31 (June): 671731.
Hayek, F. A. 1948/1980. Individualism and Economic Order (Chicago: University of Chicago Press/Midway).
Hayek, F. A. 1976. Law, Legislation and Liberty. A New Statement of the Liberal Principles of Justice and Political Economy (3 vols.) (London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul).
Hirschman, A. O. 1992. Rival Views of Market Society and Other Recent Essays. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press).
Hodgson, G. M. 1988. Economics and Institutions. A Manifesto for a Modern Institutional Economics (Cambridge: Polity Press).
Hoffman, W. M., and Fisher, J. V.. 1984. “Corporate Responsibility: Property and Liability.” In Business Ethics: Readings and Cases in Corporate Morality, ed. Hoffman, W. M. and Moore, J. M. (New York: McGraw-Hill): 142149.
Homann, K., and Blome-Drees, F.. 1992. Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik. (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht).
Homann, K., and Blome-Drees, F.. 1994. “Marktwirtschaft und Unternehmensethik,” in Markt und Moral. Die Diskussion um die Unternehmensethik, ed. Blasche, S., Köhler, W., and Rohs, P. (Bern: Haupt): 109130.
Homann, K., and Blome-Drees, F.. 1997. “Sinn und Grenze der Ökonomischen Methode in der Wirtschaftsethik.” In Aufderheide, D. and Dabrowski, M., Wirtschaftsethik und Moralökonomik. Normen, soziale Ordnung und der Beitrag der Ökonomik (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot): 1141.
Jeurissen, R. 2000. “The Social Function of Business Ethics.” Business Ethics Quarterly 10(4): 821843.
Jones, G. R., George, J. M., and Hill, C. W. L.. 1998. “Ethics, Social Responsibility and Diversity.” In Jones, G. R., George, J. M., and Hill, C. W. L., Contemporary Management (Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill): 127145.
Katz, W. G. 1960. “Responsibility and the Modern Corporation.” Journal of Law and Economics 3 (October): 7585.
Kettner, M. 1994. “Rentabilität und Moralität. Offene Probleme in Karl Homanns Wirtschaft- und Unternehmensethik.” In Blasche, S., Köhler, W. R., et al., Markt und Moral. Die Diskussion um die Unternehmensethik (St. Galler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsethik, no 13.) (Bern: Haupt / Forum für Philosophie Bad Homburg): 241267.
Keynes, J. M. 1926. The End of Laissez-Faire (London: Leonard & Virginia Woolf).
Kneese, A. V. 1977. Economics and the Environment (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books).
Knight, F. H. 1935/1951. “Ethics and Economic Interpretation,” in The Ethics of Competition and Other Essays (London: George Allen & Unwin): 1940.
Knight, F. H. 1935/1951. “The Ethics of Competition,” in The Ethics of Competition and Other Essays (London: George Allen & Unwin): 4175.
Koslowski, P. 1986. Ethik des Kapitalismus (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr/Paul Siebeck).
Kromphardt, J. 1979/1991. Konzeptionen und Analysen des Kapitalismus (3rd edition) (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht).
Kymlicka, W. 1990/1995. Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Levitt, T. 1958. “The Dangers of Social Responsibility.” Harvard Business Review 36 (September–October).
Lindblom, C. E. 1965. The Intelligence of Democracy (New York: The Free Press).
Lindblom, C. E. 1977. Politics and Markets. The World’s Political-Economic Systems. (New York: Basic Books).
van Luijk, H. 1993. Om redelijk gewin. Oefeningen in Bedrijfsethiek (Amsterdam: Boom).
van Luijk, H. 1994. “Rights and Interests in a Participatory Market Society.” Business Ethics Quarterly 4(1) (January): 7996.
van Luijk, H., and Schilder, A.. 1997. Patronen van verantwoordelijkheid. Ethiek en Corporate Governance (Schoonhoven: Academic Service).
MacLagan, P. 1998. Management and Morality. A Developmental Perspective (London: Sage).
Marshall, A. 1890/1920/1990. Principles of Economics (8th edition) (Philadelphia: Porcupine Press).
Mill, J. S. (and Winch, D., ed.). 1848/1985. Principles of Political Economy. With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. Books IV and V (London: Penguin Books).
Mill, J. S. (and Himmelfarb, G., ed.). 1859/1974. On Liberty (Harmondsworth: Penguin).
Mill, J. S. 1861/1991. Considerations on Representative Government (Amherst: Prometheus Books).
Noordegraaf, H., and Workum, J. van. 2000. “Zit het kapitalisme in een nieuwe fase?” In Maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen. Een nieuwe fase in het kapitalisme, ed. Noordegraaf, H. and Workum, J. van (Kampen: Uitgeverij Kok): 726.
Nussbaum, M. C. 1986. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Paine, L. S. 1997. (Cases in) Leadership, Ethics and Organizational Integrity. A Strategic Perspective (Chicago: Irwin).
Paine, L. S. 2000. “Does Ethics Pay?” Business Ethics Quarterly 10(1) (January): 319330.
Pearce, D. W., and Turner, R. K.. 1990. Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment (New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf).
Peil, J., and Garretsen, H.. 2001. “Van segregatie naar reïntegratie. De relatie tussen economie en ethiek, bezien vanuit de economie,” in Economie en Ethiek in Dialoog, ed. Becker, M., Klop, K., et al. (Assen: Van Gorcum): 938.
Pigou, A. C. 1920/1962. The Economics of Welfare (4th edition) (New York: MacMillan).
Polanyi, K. 1944. The Great Transformation (New York: Rinehart and Company).
Post, J. E., Lawrence, A. T., and Weber, J.. 1999. Business and Society: Corporate Strategy, Public Policy and Ethics (9th edition) (Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill).
Pribram, K. 1983. A History of Economic Reasoning (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press).
Riemsdijk, M. 1995. “De Brent Sparr als symptoom.” Holland Management Review 44: 8286.
Robbins, L. 1935. An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science (London: MacMillan).
Robertson, D. H. 1956/1979. Economic Commentaries (Westport: Hyperion Press).
Robinson, J. 1962/1978. Economic Philosophy (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books).
Samuelson, P. A., and Nordhaus, W. D.. 1955/1985. Economics (12th edition) (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Scanlon, T. M. 1998/2000. What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press).
Schotter, A. 1990. Free Market Economics. A Critical Appraisal (Malden, Mass.: Basil Blackwell).
Schultze, C. L. 1977. The Public Use of Private Interest (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution).
Schumpeter, J. A. 1944. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (London: George Allen & Unwin).
Schumpeter, J. A. 1954/1986. History of Economic Analysis (New York: Routledge).
Selznick, P. 1992. The Moral Commonwealth. Social Theory and the Promise of Community (Berkeley: University of California Press).
Sen, A. 1987. On Ethics and Economics (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).
Sen, A. 1993. “Money and Value. On the Ethics and Economics of Finance,” in Economics and Philosophy 9: 203227.
Sen, A. 1990. “Rational Fools: A Critique of the Behavioral Foundations of Economic Theory.” In Beyond Self-Interest, ed. Mansbridge, J. J. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press): 2543.
Sidgwick, H. 1887. The Principles of Political Economy (New York: MacMillan).
Smith, A. 1776/1910/1991. The Wealth of Nations (London: Everyman’s Library).
Steinmann, H., and Löhr, A.. 1991. Grundlagen der Unternehmensethik (Stuttgart: Poeschel).
Steinmann, H., and Löhr, A.. 1994. “Unternehmensethik—Ein republikanisches Programm in der Kritik.” In Blasche, S. and Köhler, W. R., et al., Markt und Moral. Die Diskussion um die Unternehmensethik (St. Galler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsethik, no. 13.) (Bern: Haupt / Forum für Philosophie Bad Homburg): 145180.
Stone, C. D. 1975. Where the Law Ends. The Social Control of Corporate Behaviour (New York: Harper and Row).
van der Straaten, J. 1990. Zure regen. Economische theorie en het Nederlandse beleid (Utrecht: Jan van Arkel).
Tisdell, C. 1993. Environmental Economics. Politics for Environmental Management and Sustainable Development (Brookfield: Edward Elgar).
Tweede Kamer der Staten Generaal. Parliamentary year 19981999 (26485). Maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen. No. 1.
Ulrich, P. 1993. Transformation der Okonomischen Vernunft. Fortschrittperspectiven der modernen Industriegesellschaft (3rd edition) (Bern: Haupt).
Ulrich, P. 1997. Integrative Wirtschaftsethik. Grundlagen einer lebensdienlichen Ökonomie (Bern: Haupt).
Viner, J. 1958. The Long View and the Short (Glencoe: The Free Press).
Vogel, D. 1975. “The Political and Economic Impact of Current Criticism of Business,” in California Management Review 18(2) (Winter): 8692.
Vogel, D. 1991. “Business Ethics: New Perspectives on Old Problems,” in California Management Review 33(4) (Summer): 101117.
Votav, D., and Sethi, S. P.. 1969. “Do We Need a New Corporate Response to a Changing Social Environment?” California Management Review 12(1) (Autumn): 316.
Walton, C. C. 1967. Corporate Social Responsibilities (Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company).
Weber, M. 1921/1972. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie (5th edition, Studienausgabe) (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr).
Wicksell, K. 1934/1977. Lectures on Political Economy. Volume 1. (London: Augustus M. Kelly Publishers).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Business Ethics Quarterly
  • ISSN: 1052-150X
  • EISSN: 2153-3326
  • URL: /core/journals/business-ethics-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed