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The Corporation

  • Norman Barry
Chapter
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Abstract

In its economic manifestation at least, the concept of the corporation leads a shadowy existence and has to some writers a morally ambiguous biography. It is treated as an object of opprobrium by those opposed to a free economy who can exploit and have exploited a superficial tension between its existence and the moral premises on which that system is conventionally founded, and it is looked on with some scepticism even by some who are predisposed to defend capitalism.

Keywords

Business Ethic Limited Liability Corporate Culture Moral Duty Civil Action 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    The science of catallactics was developed most cogently by the ‘Austrian’ school of economics, from Carl Menger. See N. Barry, ‘Austrian Economics: a Dissent from Orthodoxy’, in D. Greenaway, M. Bleaney and I. Stewart (eds) A Companion to Contemporary Economic Thought (London: Routledge, 1991) pp. 68–87.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    A. Berle and G. Means, The Modem Corporation and Private Property (New York: Harcourt & Brace, revd edn 1967).Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    There is a vast number of books and articles on the social responsibility of business, see especially, C. Stone, Where the Law Ends (New York: Harper Row, 1975)Google Scholar
  4. T. Donaldson, Corporations and Morality (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1983)Google Scholar
  5. R. Soloman and K. Hanson, Above the Bottom Line: An Introduction to Business Ethics (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1983)Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819). For a critical discussion of this case, see R. Hessen, In Defense of the Corporation (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1979) p. 9.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, edited by R. Campbell and A. Skinner (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976)Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    This is the claim of M.G. Griffiths and J.R. Lucas in Ethical Economics (London: Macmillan, 1996) pp. 64–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 16.
    See O. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies (New York: Free Press, 1975).Google Scholar
  10. 19.
    For a discussion of the German cartelization phenomenon, see N. Barry, ‘The Political and Economic Thought of German Neo-Liberalism’, in A. Peacock and H. Willgerodt (eds) German Neoliberalism and the Social Market Economy (London: Macmillan, 1989) pp. 105–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 23.
    F. Bastiat, ‘What is Seen and What is not Seen’, in D. Boaz, Libertarianism: A Primer (New York: Free Press, 1997) pp. 265–73.Google Scholar
  12. 24.
    N. Barry, The Morality of Business Enterprise (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press for the David Hume Institute, 1991) pp. 42–3.Google Scholar
  13. 25.
    See L. Nash, Good Intentions Aside (Boston: Harvard Business School, 1990) pp. 38–43.Google Scholar
  14. 26.
    P. French, Corporations and Corporate Responsibility (New York: Columbia University Press 1984,).Google Scholar

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© Norman Barry 1998

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  • Norman Barry

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