Mutually Enhancing Responsibility: A Theoretical Exploration of the Interaction Mechanisms between Individual and Corporate Moral Responsibility

43 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2015

See all articles by Mihaela Constantinescu

Mihaela Constantinescu

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest

Muel Kaptein

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Date Written: April 1, 2014

Abstract

Moral responsibility for outcomes in corporate settings can be ascribed either to the individual members, the corporation, or both. In the latter case, the relationship between individual and corporate responsibility has been approached as inversely proportional, such that an increase in individual responsibility leads to a corresponding decrease in corporate responsibility and vice versa. In this article we develop a non-proportionate approach, where, under specific conditions, individual and corporate moral responsibilities interact dynamically, leading to a mutual enhancement of responsibility: the more the corporation is responsible, the more the individuals become responsible and vice versa. We develop this mutually enhancing approach in terms of normative ascriptions of responsibility, while leaving aside empirical implications in terms of mutual awareness of responsibility between individuals and corporations. We explore conceptually the conditions and mechanisms that generate this mutual enhancement and also discuss the implications for research and practice.

Keywords: responsibility, moral responsibility, corporate responsibility, individual responsibility, interaction mechanisms

Suggested Citation

Constantinescu, Mihaela and Kaptein, Muel, Mutually Enhancing Responsibility: A Theoretical Exploration of the Interaction Mechanisms between Individual and Corporate Moral Responsibility (April 1, 2014). Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 129, No. 2, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2620627

Mihaela Constantinescu (Contact Author)

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest ( email )

204, Splaiul Independentei
Bucharest, District 6 060024
Romania

HOME PAGE: http://filosofie.unibuc.ro/

Muel Kaptein

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T11-53
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1923 (Phone)

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