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Stakeholder Theory, Fact/Value Dichotomy, and the Normative Core: How Wall Street Stops the Ethics Conversation

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  • Lauren Purnell

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  • R. Freeman
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    Abstract

    A review of the stakeholder literature reveals that the concept of “normative core” can be applied in three main ways: philosophical justification of stakeholder theory, theoretical governing principles of a firm, and managerial beliefs/values influencing the underlying narrative of business. When considering the case of Wall Street, we argue that the managerial application of normative core reveals the imbedded nature of the fact/value dichotomy. Problems arise when the work of the fact/value dichotomy contributes to a closed-core institution. We make the distinction between open- and closed-core institutions to show how in the case of the closed-core, ethical decision-making is viewed by the institution as a separate domain from the core business of the institution. The resulting blind spot stifles meaningful exchanges with stakeholders attempting to address the need for reform. We suggest in conclusion that ethical considerations are less about casting a value judgment and more about creating a process for meaningful conversation throughout an institution and its stakeholders. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-012-1383-6
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (August)
    Pages: 109-116

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:109:y:2012:i:1:p:109-116

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: Stakeholder theory; Normative ethics; Wall Street reform; Narrative;

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    1. Donaldson, Thomas & Dunfee, Thomas W., 2002. "Ties that bind in business ethics: Social contracts and why they matter," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(9), pages 1853-1865, September.
    2. R. Edward Freeman & Jared Harris, 2009. "Creating Ties That Bind," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(4), pages 685-692, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Susan Castro, 2014. "The Morality of Unequal Autonomy: Reviving Kant’s Concept of Status for Stakeholders," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(4), pages 593-606, June.

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