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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 89–98 | Cite as

Redefining Accountability As Relational Responsiveness

  • Mollie Painter-MorlandEmail author
Article

Abstract

The way in which accountability is currently employed in business ethics practice is based on a few central assumptions. It is assumed, for instance, that ethical failures result from the deliberate, rational decision-making of moral agents. A second important assumption is that there is a direct cause and effect relationship between the decisions and actions of individuals and the consequences of those decisions. Furthermore, the current approach towards accountability failures relies on the ability on legal sanctions to deter agents from ethical lapses. This paper will argue that these three assumptions do not survive critical interrogation and that our understanding of accountability therefore has to be reconsidered. It will propose that accountability be reconceived as a relational responsiveness towards stakeholders.

Keywords

accountability moral agency stakeholder theory 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyDe Paul UniversityChicagoUSA

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