PhD thesis, London School of Economics: The thesis is an analysis
of the corporation in society which spans the disciplines of
Ethics, Law, Economics and Political Philosophy. Part One
challenges the position, generally accepted in Business Ethics,
that a corporation qualifies as a moral agent. The thesis analyses
the most prominent theories of corporate moral agency and concludes
that the corporation itself is not a moral agent. The thesis argues
that attributions of moral responsibility to corporations are an
elliptical way of referring to the responsibility of individuals.
Part Two traces the historical development of the corporate legal
form in English and American law and argues that the corporate form
is a legal agent. The thesis takes issue with the Corporate Social
Responsibility movement and argues that many of its prescriptions
rest on a mistaken premise of corporate moral agency. Further, the
thesis suggests that many CSR issues are better addressed through
legal enactments by government.
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