Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 94, Issue 2, pp 265–278 | Cite as

Value Creation, Management Competencies, and Global Corporate Citizenship: An Ordonomic Approach to Business Ethics in the Age of Globalization

  • Ingo Pies
  • Markus BeckmannEmail author
  • Stefan Hielscher


This article develops an “ordonomic” approach to business ethics in the age of globalization. Through the use of a three-tiered conceptual framework that distinguishes between the basic game of antagonistic social cooperation, the meta game of rule-setting, and the meta-meta game of rule-finding discourse, we address three questions, the answers to which we believe are crucial to fostering effective business leadership and corporate social responsibility. First, the purpose of business in society is value creation. Companies have a social mandate to organize mutually advantageous cooperation. Second, business ethics should teach the management competencies necessary to fulfill business’s societal mandate. These competencies are optimization competence in the basic game of value creation, governance competence in the meta game of (political) rule setting, and the three discourse-related skills of orientation competence, reception competence, and communication competence necessary for engaging in the meta-meta game. Third, companies can help solve global problems through global corporate citizenship if they participate as political and moral actors in rule-setting processes and rule-finding discourse aimed at laying the foundation for value creation on a global scale.


business ethics management education corporate citizenship corporate social responsibility new governance ordonomics social dilemmas stakeholder theory social entrepreneurship 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Albach H. (2005) ‘Betriebswirtschaftslehre ohne Unternehmensethik’. ZfB – Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaftslehre 75(9): 809-831.Google Scholar
  2. Albach, H. 2007 ‘Betriebswirtschaftslehre ohne Unternehmensethik – Eine Erwiderung’. ZfB – Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaftslehre 77(2): 195-206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arrow, K.: 1985, ‘The economics of agency’, in J. Pratt and R. Zeckhauser (eds.), Principals and agents: The Structure of business, (Harvard University Press, Boston), pp. 37-51.Google Scholar
  4. Boatright, J.: forthcoming, ‘The Implications of the New Governance for Corporate Governance’, Paper Prepared for the Conference “Corporate Citizenship and New Governance” in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany, November 2009Google Scholar
  5. Bowie, N. E.:1999. Business ethics: A Kantian perspective, (Blackwell, Oxford).Google Scholar
  6. Bowie, N.: 2000: ‘Kantian theory of leadership’, Leadership & Organization Development Journal 21(4), 185-193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bragues, G.: 2006, ‘Seek the Good Life, not Money: The Aristotelian Approach to Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 67(4), 341-357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brinkmann, J.: 2004, Corporate Citizenship und Public-Private Partnerships: Zum Potential der Kooperation zwischen Privatwirtschaft, Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und Zivilgesellschaft, WZGE-Studien No. 1 (Lutherstadt Wittenberg)Google Scholar
  9. Buchanan, J. M., R. D. Tollison and G. Tullock (eds.): 1980), Toward a Theory of the Rent-Seeking Society, (Texas A & M University Economics Series, College Station).Google Scholar
  10. Cottmann, T.: 2007, ‘e-mission 55: Flagge zeigen für den Klimaschutz’, in J. Rieksmeier (ed.), Praxisbuch: Politische Interessenvermittlung. Instrumente - Kampagnen - Lobbying, (VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden), pp. 196-201.Google Scholar
  11. de Graaf, G.: 2006, ‘The Autonomy of the Contracting Partners: An Argument for Heuristic Contractarian Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 68(3), 347-361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Denzau, A. T. and D. C. North: 1994, ‘Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions’, Kyklos 47(1), 3-31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Donaldson, T. and T. W. Dunfee: 1999, Ties that bind: a social contracts approach to business ethics, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge).Google Scholar
  14. Dunfee, T. W. and T. Donaldson: 1995, ‘Contractarian Business Ethics: Current Status and Next Steps’, Business Ethics Quarterly 5(2), 173-186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duska, R. F.: 1993, ‘Aristotle: A Pre-Modern Post-Modern? Implications for Business Ethics, by’, Business Ethics Quarterly 3(3), 227-250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eigen, P.: 2006, ‘Fighting Corruption in a Global Economy: Transparency Initiatives in the Oil and Gas Industry’, Houston Journal of International Law 29, 327-354.Google Scholar
  17. Frenkel, S. J. and D. Scott: 2002, ‘Compliance, Collaboration, and Codes of Labor Practice: The Adidas Connection’, California Management Review 45(1), 29-49.Google Scholar
  18. Friedman, M.: 1962, Capitalism and Freedom, (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London).Google Scholar
  19. Friedman, M.: 1970, ‘The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits’, New York Times Magazine September 13, 1970, New York, 32–33, 122–126Google Scholar
  20. Hardin, G.: 1968, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 162, 1243-1248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hart, S. S.: 2005, Capitalism at the Crossroads: The unlimited business opportunities in solving the world's most difficult problems (Wharton School Publishing, Philadelphia).Google Scholar
  22. Hart, S. S. and London, T.: 2005, ‘Developing native capability: What multinational corporations can learn from the base of the pyramid’, Stanford Social Innovation Review 3(2), 28-33.Google Scholar
  23. Henderson, D.: 2001, Misguided Virtue. False Notions of Corporate Social Responsibility (New Zealand Business Roundtable, Wellington).Google Scholar
  24. Henderson, D.: 2005, ‘The Role of Business in the World of Today’, Journal of Corporate Citizenship 17, 30-32.Google Scholar
  25. Hiss, S. B.: 2004, ‘Does Corporate Social Responsibility Need Social Capital? The Example of the ‘Sector Model Social Responsibility’ of the ‘Foreign Trade Association of the German Retail Trade (AVE)’, a Public Private Partnership Project’, CSGR Working Paper No. 141/04 (University of Warwick, Coventry)Google Scholar
  26. Hollenhorst, T. and C. Johnson: 2005, Tools for Corporate Social Responsibility: Forest Steward Council, (ifPeople, Atlanta).Google Scholar
  27. Homann, K.: 2002, ‘Wider die Erosion der Moral durch Moralisieren’, in K. Homann (ed.), Vorteile und Anreize: Zur Grundlegung einer Ethik der Zukunft, (Mohr Siebeck. Tübingen), pp. 3-20.Google Scholar
  28. Jensen, M. C.: 2002, ‘Value Maximization, Stakeholder Theory, and the Corporate Objective Function,’ Business Ethics Quarterly 12(2), 235-256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kell, G. and D. Levin: 2003, ‘The Global Compact Network: A Historic Experiment in Learning and Action’, Business and Society Review 108(2), 151-181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Klein, B., R.G. Crawford and A. A. Alchian: 1978, ‘Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process’, Journal of Law and Economics 21 (2), 297-326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kreps, D. M.: 1990, ‘Corporate Culture and Economic Theory’, in J. E. Alt and K. A. Shepsle (eds.), Perspectives on Positive Political Economy, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge), pp. 90-143.Google Scholar
  32. Kuhn, T. S.: 1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, (Chicago University Press, Chicago).Google Scholar
  33. L’Etang, J.: 1992, ‘A Kantian approach to codes of ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 11(10), 737-744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. L’Etang, J.: 1995: ‘Ethical corporate social responsibility: A framework for managers’, Journal of Business Ethics 14(2), 125-132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lakatos, I.: 1978, The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes: Philosophical Papers Volume 1, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge).Google Scholar
  36. Mintz, S. M.: 1996, ‘Aristotelian virtue and business ethics education’, Journal of Business Ethics 15(8), 827-838.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Olson, M.: 1965: The Logic of Collective Action, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge).Google Scholar
  38. Palazzo, G. and A. G. Scherer: 2006, ‘Corporate Legitimacy as Deliberation: A Communicative Framework’, Journal of Business Ethics 66(1), 71-88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pies, I., S. Hielscher and M. Beckmann: 2009, ‘Moral Commitments and the Societal Role of Business: An Ordonomic Approach to Corporate Citizenship’, Business Ethics Quarterly 19(3), 375-401.Google Scholar
  40. Popper, K. R.: 1972, Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach, (Clarendon Prees, Oxford).Google Scholar
  41. Prahalad, C. K.: 2004, Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits, (Wharton School Publishing, Upper Saddle River).Google Scholar
  42. Rawls, J.: 1971, A Theory of Justice, (Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass.).Google Scholar
  43. Rawls, J.: 1993, Political Liberalism, (Columbia University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  44. Ruggie, J. G.: 2001, ‘ The Global Compact as Learning Network’, Global Governance 7, 371-378.Google Scholar
  45. Schelling, T. C.: 1960, The Strategy of Conflict, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.).Google Scholar
  46. Scherer, A. G. and G. Palazzo: 2007, ‘Toward a Political Conception of Corporate Responsibility: Business and Society Seen From a Habermasian Perspective’, Academy of Management Review 32(4), 1096-1120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Scott, R.S. and N. E. Bowie: 2002, ‘A Kantian perspective on the characteristics of ethics programmes’, Business Ethics Quarterly 14(2), 275-292.Google Scholar
  48. Solomon, R. C.: 1992, ‘Corporate Roles, Personal Virtues: An Aristotelean Approach to Business Ethics, Business Ethics Quarterly, 2(3), 317-339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Solomon, R. C.: 2004, ‘Aristotle, Ethics and Business Organizations’, Organization Studies 25 (6,) 1021-1043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Steinmann, H. and A. Löhr: 1996, ‘A Republican Concept of Corporate Ethics’, in Urban, S. (ed.), Europe’s Challenges: Economic Efficiency and Social Solidarity (Gabler: Wiesbaden: Gabler), 21-60.Google Scholar
  51. Sundaram, A. K. and A. C. Inkpen: 2004, ‘The Corporate Objective Revisited’, Organization Science 15(3), 350-363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tullock, G.: 1989, The Economics of Special Privilege and Rent-Seeking, (Kluwer Academic, Boston).Google Scholar
  53. Ulrich, Peter: 2008: Integrative economic ethics: foundations of a civilized market economy, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mises, L. v.: 1996, Human Action, (Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington).Google Scholar
  55. Mises, L. v.: 2008): Profit and Loss, (Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama).Google Scholar
  56. Williams, O. F.: 2004, ‘The UN Global Compact: The Challenge and the Promise’, Business Ethics Quarterly 14(4), 755-774.Google Scholar
  57. Williamson, O.: 1985, The Economic Institutions of Capitalism, (Free Press, New York).Google Scholar
  58. Willis, A.: 2003, ‘The Role of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in the Social Screening of Investments’, Journal of Business Ethics 43(3), 233-237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Law and Economics Martin-Luther-University Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany
  2. 2.Centre for Sustainability ManagementLeuphana University LueneburgLueneburgGermany

Personalised recommendations