Ties that Unwind: Dynamism in Integrative Social Contracts Theory

Posted: 21 Sep 2005

See all articles by Robert A. Phillips

Robert A. Phillips

York University - Schulich School of Business

Michael E. Johnson-Cramer

Bucknell University - Department of Management

Abstract

Social contracts have emerged as among the most powerful methods and metaphors for the study of organizational ethics. That participation with an organization entails obligations to follow the extant norms of that organization, subject to the moral minimums of basic human rights, is a widely accepted tenet. One potential challenge to this approach, however, is that there has been little discussion the process of evolution for these norms. In as much as at least some aspects of all contracts are implied and relational, can changes be unilaterally implemented without violation of the extant contract? This paper takes a closer look at circumstances of change in the terms of and parties to social contracts.

Keywords: Ethics, social contracts

Suggested Citation

Phillips, Robert A. and Johnson-Cramer, Michael E., Ties that Unwind: Dynamism in Integrative Social Contracts Theory. Journal of Business Ethics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=800785 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.663708

Robert A. Phillips (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Michael E. Johnson-Cramer

Bucknell University - Department of Management ( email )

Lewisburg, PA 17837
570-577-1756 (Phone)

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