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Can There Be a Social Contract with Business?

Paul F. Hodapp
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 9, No. 2 (Feb., 1990), pp. 127-131
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25072014
Page Count: 5
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Can There Be a Social Contract with Business?
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Abstract

Professor Donaldson in his book Corporations and Morality has attempted to use a social contract theory to develop moral principles for regulating corporate conduct. I argue in this paper that his attempt fails in large measure because what he refers to as a social contract theory is, in fact, a weak functionalist theory which provides no independent basis for evaluating business corporations. I further argue that given the nature of a morality based on contract and the nature of the modern corporation, it is highly unlikely that any plausible contract theory of business ethics can be developed.

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