The Enduring Potential of Justified Hypernorms

47 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2018

See all articles by Markus Scholz

Markus Scholz

FHWien University of Applied Sciences

Gastón de los Reyes, Jr.

George Washington University School of Business

N. Craig Smith

INSEAD

Date Written: November 30, 2018

Abstract

The profound influence of Thomas Donaldson and Thomas Dunfee’s Integrative Social Contracts Theory (ISCT) on the field of business ethics has been challenged by Andreas Scherer and Guido Palazzo’s Habermasian approach, which has achieved prominence of late with articles that expressly question the defensibility of ISCT’s hypernorms. This article builds on recent efforts by Donaldson and Scherer to bridge their accounts by providing discursive foundations to the hypernorms at the heart of the ISCT framework. Extending prior literature, we propose an ISCT* framework designed to retain ISCT’s practical virtue of managerial guidance while answering the demands of Scherer and Palazzo’s discursive account. By subscribing to a suitable portfolio of discursively justified hypernorms, we argue, companies unlock the valuable moral guidance of ISCT*, which says to treat these hypernorms as unequivocal outer bounds to the pursuit of business and as a starting point to tailor local norms through discursive stakeholder engagement.

Keywords: Discourse Ethics, Human Rights, Hypernorms, Integrative Social Contracts Theory, Legitimacy, Multi-stakeholder initiatives

Suggested Citation

Scholz, Markus and de los Reyes, Jr., Gastón and Smith, N. Craig, The Enduring Potential of Justified Hypernorms (November 30, 2018). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2018/55/ATL. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3293569 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3293569

Markus Scholz

FHWien University of Applied Sciences ( email )

Währinger Gürtel 97
Vienna, 1180
Austria

Gastón de los Reyes, Jr.

George Washington University School of Business ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States
4136872013 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://business.gwu.edu/gast%C3%B3n-de-los-reyes

N. Craig Smith (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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