Global Rules and Private Actors - Towards a New Role of the Transnational Corporation in Global Governance
Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 16, pp. 505-532, 2006
45 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2007
We discuss the role that transnational corporations (TNCs) should play in developing global governance, creating a framework of rules and regulations for the global economy. The central issue is whether TNCs should provide global rules and guarantee individual citizenship rights, or instead focus on maximizing profits. First, we describe the problems arising from the globalization process that affect the relationship between public rules and private firms. Next we consider the position of economic and management theories in relation to the social responsibility of the firm. We argue that instrumental stakeholder theory and business and society research can only partially solve the global governance issue, and that more recent concepts of corporate citizenship and republican business ethics deliver theoretically and practically helpful, fresh insights. However, even these need further development, especially with regard to the legitimacy of corporate political activity.
Keywords: global governance, private actors, globalization, transnational corporations
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