Corporate Legitimacy

20 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2011

See all articles by Laszlo Zsolnai

Laszlo Zsolnai

Corvinus University of Budapest - Business Ethics Center

Date Written: March 18, 2011


The paper suggests that the Just War theory provides an excellent methodological device for determining the conditions of legitimacy of companies. Just War Theory has different sets of criteria. The first establishes the right to go to war ("jus as bellum"); the second establishes the right conduct within war ("jus in bello"), while the third establishes justice concerning the results of war ("jus post bellum").

In business ethics we can make analogous distinctions. If the company activity system is substantively right, procedurally fair and brings justice to the company's ecosystem then the company can achieve full legitimacy. This means that the company's raison d'être, the company’s functioning as well as the company’s end results are morally justifiable.

Keywords: corporate legitimacy, rightness, fairness, justice

JEL Classification: M0, M11

Suggested Citation

Zsolnai, Laszlo, Corporate Legitimacy (March 18, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Laszlo Zsolnai (Contact Author)

Corvinus University of Budapest - Business Ethics Center ( email )

F?vámtér 8.
P.O.Box 489
Budapest, 1828

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