Academy of Management Review
Coauthored with Matthew Caulfield
Corporate responses to social ills are often not evaluated in terms of expanding corporate power and overreach. This article explores a "federated" vision of CSR built from older institutional approaches to corporate power, paying particular attention to the division of moral labor in society and how CSR affects the larger social ecosystem.
In recent decades, numerous voices in managerial scholarship and business ethics have championed conciliatory business strategies capable of achieving both economic and social ends. This article reviews how these “good ethics pays” or “win–win” claims generally rely on poor or incomplete conceputalization while not standing up to empirical testing.
This article revisits the "harmony doctrine" school of economics (1835–1860) and its distinctive understanding of how ethics and economics intersect. Harmony doctrine thinkers staked out a “natural” understanding of economic phenomena that in many ways fused the classical political economy of Adam Smith with the earlier French Physiocratic School.
While many approaches to organizations focus on technical processes and resource allocation, this article examines the metatheoretical underpinnings of organizational theory that may distort our understanding of the conflicts and power at play. At the center of such distortions are objective or "scientific" portrayals of human behavior that inform organizational techniques of control.
Currently Under Review
While stakeholder capitalism has generated new enthusiasm as a paradigm for navigating ethics and economics, many accounts of the paradigm fundamentally misrepresent the manner in which stakeholder theory positions itself in relation to normatively enriched accounts of capitalism. This article draws on a close reading of stakeholder theory to capture its far more ambivalent stance on reforming or "fixing" economic behaviors or institutions.
Currently Under Review
While scholars have long drawn interest in the settings that make work and labor meaningful, these inquiries often omit any account or definition of manipulation. This paper seeks to construct a more developed account of how scholarship undertaken in this field can speak to questions of power, control, and manipulation while also honoring the humanistic desires for meaningful and enjoyable work.
Both employers and workers desire values-driven work settings, but these values can fall in conflict with economic goals of competitive advantage, growth, and profit. This article examines several organizations with unusual governance structures to gain new insights on how dual purpose or hybrid organizations develop, enact, and preserve values and mission to extra-economic goals.
Many corporations have today assumed expanded responsibilities in addressing racial and structural injustices, often attaching such efforts to CSR, ESG, and DEI initiatives. This article reviews an earlier era in corporate social action that pursued similar objectives. A reconstructed historical account of these efforts explores familiar tensions between public versus private initiatives, benevolence versus justice orientations, and social versus economic objectives.
This paper provides a historically and philosophically informed overview of the notion that "good ethics pays," building from earlier research. After historicizing the notion of ethical actions earning personal rewards, the approach is held up against the more classical notion of market utilitarianism, the empirical inquiries into whether virtue earns economic reward, and deontological approaches that deny possibilities of ethics-economics convergence. This article concludes by identifying three key limits or blindspots associated with the good ethics pays approach.