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Citizens as Contractualist Stakeholders

  • David Silver


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    This article examines the way that for-profit businesses should take into account the interests of the citizens in the liberal democratic societies in which they operate. I will show how a contractualist version of stakeholder theory identifies the relevant moral interests of both shareholders and citizen stakeholders, and provides a method for giving their interests appropriate consideration. These include (1) the interests that individuals have with respect to private property, (2) the interests citizens have in receiving equitable consideration in the political process, and (3) citizens’ interests which give them the collective right to determine the legal and economic structure of their societies. Using this contractualist analysis, I argue that corporations should consciously take into account the interests of citizen stakeholders when there is no other social mechanism for protecting their interests as citizens. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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

    Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (August)
    Pages: 3-13

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:109:y:2012:i:1:p:3-13
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    1. Edward Freeman, R. & Evan, William M., 1990. "Corporate governance: A stakeholder interpretation," Journal of Behavioral Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 337-359.
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