Ties that Bind: A Social Contracts Approach to Business Ethics

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Harvard Business Press, 1999 - Business & Economics - 306 pages
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By whose standards should business be judged? As the world of commerce expands to include a diverse mix of countries, cultures, and institutions, the answer to this question grows increasingly complicated. "Ties That Bind", written by two leading thinkers in the field of business ethics, offers a new approach to resolving today's most pressing questions about business behavior among diverse groups of people.

Corporate leaders face ethical dilemmas everywhere, but nowhere is their challenge greater than on the global stage. While some cultures emphasize individual property rights, others might favor cooperative behavior and societal sharing. Drawing from classic political philosophy and leading-edge social contract theory, the authors provide a much-needed framework for making sensitive ethical judgments about economic and business behavior. Building on the fundamentals of respect and tolerance, "Ties That Bind" is an inspiring guide to the new social contracts for business, one that reflects the rich mix of cultural and religious attitudes in our global society.

  

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Contents

Why Contracts?
1
The Social Contract for Business
25
Hypernorms Universal Limits on Community Consent
49
Ethical Norms and Moral Free Space
83
Hypernorms Revealed The Hypernorm of Necessary Social Efficiency
117
Moral Free Space Revealed
139
ISCT and Ethical Decision Making Priorities Proxies and Patterns
175
When Ethics Travel The Promise and Peril of Global Business Ethics
213
Social Contracts and Stakeholder Obligations
235
Notes
263
References
271
Index
287
About the Authors
305
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Donaldson is a Professor of Legal Studies and Director of the Wharton Ethics Program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Dunfee is a Professor of Social Responsibility in Business; Professor of Legal Studies and Marketing; and Director of the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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