A Catholic Vision of the Corporation
44 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2005
Date Written: July 2005
Motivated by a search for alternative ways of addressing the issues of how we think about corporations and whether there is a legitimate basis upon which to argue that a corporation has an obligation to behave in an ethical and socially responsible way, this article looks to what Catholic legal theory contributes to our thinking about the nature of the corporation. Scholars such as Michael Novak, Steve Bainbridge and Mark Sargent have argued for competing visions of a Catholic vision of a corporation. This Article articulates a particular Catholic vision of the corporation, a communitarian vision that sees the corporation both as a community and as existing as part of a larger community, a vision that emphasizes the corporation's social responsibilities. It then elaborates on what this vision means about a corporation's obligations and the role of law in regulating corporations. Finally, the Article defends the value of proposing a Catholic vision of the corporation, addressing the question why Catholic social thought has something useful to add to public debate in a pluralist society.
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