Corporate Responsibility And Legitimacy: An Interdisciplinary Analysis

Hardcover | June 1, 1991

byJames J. Brummer

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Drawing upon research from a variety of disciplines, this volume offers a systematic discussion of the issues and assumptions of the corporate responsibility debate. James J. Brummer provides an extensive review of the relevant literature and develops a methodology for treating specific problems of corporate responsibility, illustrating its use in actual practice. The book also proposes a theory of corporate responsibility and legitimacy that builds upon the concept of accountability and explores the relevance of applying methods of study traditionally associated with the humanities to contemporary problems of corporate ethics. The author begins by addressing general concepts and principles including types of corporate responsibility, relations of accountability, models of the corporation, and theories of institutional legitimacy. Part Two outlines the four theories of corporate responsibility--the classical, stakeholder, social demandingness, and social activist theories--and examines their major premises and supporting evidence. Two chapters treat the specific issue of plant closing or relocation in relation to each of the four theories of corporate responsibility. Finally, the author discusses collective and subordinate responsibility, paying particular attention to the concept of whistleblowing. The concluding chapter summarizes the corporate responsibility debate and analyzes various models of accountability. An ideal supplemental text for courses in business ethics and public administration, this volume is also an invaluable resource for executives confronted with issues of corporate responsibility in their own operations.

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Drawing upon research from a variety of disciplines, this volume offers a systematic discussion of the issues and assumptions of the corporate responsibility debate. James J. Brummer provides an extensive review of the relevant literature and develops a methodology for treating specific problems of corporate responsibility, illustratin...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 9.64 × 6.42 × 1.23 inPublished:June 1, 1991Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313247269

ISBN - 13:9780313247262

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?Brummer's aim is to "understand the various theories of corporate responsibility and two important areas of their application" (p. 130). He connects these to the question of corporate legitimacy based upon the ability of the theories to meet the responsibilities assigned to them. After discussing the assumptions of corporate responsibility, he considers four theories. The classical theory stresses that its primary goal is "to secure the shareholders' financial goals and to respond to their wishes relative to the corporation" (p. 103). The stakeholder theory holds that corporate executives are responsible to shareholders and other groups. The goal of the social demandingness theory is to promote and protect certain interests of the general public. The social activist theory holds that there exists a universal standard for determining responsible corporate conduct that is independent of the stockholders' interest. Brummer applies these theories to the closing and relocation of corporate facilities and whistleblowing. He gives arguments against and for each theory by quoting any and every person who has written about corporations, e.g. Friedman, Werhane, Velasquez, DeGeorge, May, Feinberg, etc. The author then leaves it to the reader to decide which theory best handles its responsibility. Graduate level.?-Choice