The Virtue of Participatory Governance: A MacIntyrean Alternative to Shareholder Maximization

14 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2015

See all articles by Caleb Bernacchio

Caleb Bernacchio

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Robert B. Couch

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: August 2015

Abstract

We draw on Alasdair MacIntyre's virtues, practices, and institutions schema to argue that employee participation in governance practices can play an important role in developing virtue. Whereas MacIntyre's schema has been most widely employed to understand how productive practices can cultivate virtue, we focus instead on the way that meaningful deliberation about the common good can provide experiences requiring employees to exercise the virtues. We then apply this theoretical framework to an analysis of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation. Our analysis emphasizes the importance of participatory governance over employee ownership. Based on this analysis, we draw several implications for increasing participatory governance in a way that will prevent shareholder maximization from crowding out virtue, even in corporate contexts where productive activity itself does not provide a meaningful, virtueÔÇÉinstilling experience.

Suggested Citation

Bernacchio, Caleb and Couch, Robert B., The Virtue of Participatory Governance: A MacIntyrean Alternative to Shareholder Maximization (August 2015). Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 24, pp. S130-S143, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2650855 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/beer.12101

Caleb Bernacchio (Contact Author)

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Robert B. Couch

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management ( email )

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
United States

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