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Loyalty, Corporations, and Community


Some recent discussions of corporate loyalty have found it misguided, while others see it as crucial for financial success. There is also disagreement over the nature of loyalty. This article analyzes the concept of loyalty, arguing that it is neither a duty nor a virtue (although it has overlaps with those categories), but a passion related to various virtues (and vices). Contrary to standard accounts of capitalism, loyalty does not necessarily oppose self-interest. Furthermore, corporations can and should be communities, and insofar as they are, they are proper objects for loyalty. If corporations are not communities, then loyalty to them cannot exist.

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R. E. Ewin 1992. “Loyalty and Virtues.” The Philosophical Quarterly 42: 403419.

R. Edward Freeman . 1994. “The Politics of Stakeholder Theory: Some Future Directions.” Business Ethics Quarterly 4: 409421.

John C. Haughey 1993. “Does Loyalty in the Workplace Have a Future?” Business Ethics Quarterly 3: 116.

Stephen Nathanson . 1993. “Fletcher on Loyalty and Universal Morality.” Criminal Justice Ethics 12: 5662.

Andrew Oldenquist . 1982. “Loyalties.” The Journal of Philosophy 79: 173193.

Raymond S. Pfeiffer 1992. “Owing Loyalty to One’s Employer.” Journal of Business Ethics 11: 535543.

Robert C. Solomon 1994. “The Corporation as Community: A Reply to Ed Hartman.” Business Ethics Quarterly 4: 271285.

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Business Ethics Quarterly
  • ISSN: 1052-150X
  • EISSN: 2153-3326
  • URL: /core/journals/business-ethics-quarterly
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