The Freedom-Responsibility Nexus in Management Philosophy and Business Ethics
49 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2010
Date Written: December 27, 2010
This article pursues the question whether and inasmuch theories of corporate responsibility are dependent upon conceptions of managerial freedom. I argue that neglect of the idea of freedom in economic theory has led to an inadequate conceptualization of the ethical responsibilities of corporations within management theory. In a critical review of the history of economic ideas, I investigate why and how the idea of freedom was gradually removed from the canon of economics. This reconstruction aims at a deconstruction of certain axioms of neoclassical economics that hamper contemporary efforts in integrating ethics firmly into management education. I intend to show by these deconstructive endeavors that a constructive use of the idea of responsible freedom could correct and complement the current quantitative focus in business theory through qualitative orientations. With the help of qualitative success criteria, I argue, the strategic integration of the tenets of both business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility into business practice can be advanced by further research.
Keywords: Freedom, Responsibility, Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Management Theory, Economics, Homo Economicus, Humanistic Management
JEL Classification: A10, A20, B10, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation