, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 409-415

Environmental integrity and corporate responsibility

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Abstract

Environmental disasters like Bhopal have a way of calling attention to environmental and corporate ethical issues. This paper discusses these issues in terms of a livable environment as an inalienable right and of corporate responsibility as an philosophical and social psychological disposition that enables corporations to respect that right. The corporate conscience is compared to the individual conscience and analyzed according to the moral development theories of Lawrence Kohlberg. Its moral development is recognized as problematic from the cited performance records of some leading multinational corporations and from the anti-environmental lobbying efforts of the chemical industry itself. Outreach programs in environmental health associated with research projects in corporate ethics are suggested to develop the corporate conscience for preserving environmental integrity through corporate responsibility.

Richard Guerrette is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Connecticut at Hartford. He is also a Research Fellow at Yale Divinity School where he is conducting a research study in organization management process and corporate ethics. He is an author of two books on ecumenical ministry and social movement organization in the church and has published extensively in theological journals. He operates EQUIPAX, an organization/management consulting service in Farmington, Connecticut.