Anarchism and business ethics

Franks, B. (2014) Anarchism and business ethics. Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, 14(4), pp. 699-724.

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‘Anarcho’-capitalism has for decades occupied a small but significant position within ‘business ethics’, while the anarchism associated with the larger traditions of workers and social movements has only had a spectral presence. Social anarchisms’ forms of opposition and proposed alternatives to standard liberal business practices, identities and presuppositions have appeared only fleetingly in mainstream business ethics. In the light of these anarchist hauntings, this paper identifies and explores social anarchism’s critique of dominant forms of business ethics, and business practice. It applies anarchism’s critical insights to market-based ethics, of which Milton Friedman’s influential essay, ‘The Social Responsibility of the Businessman is to Increase Profits,’ is used as an exemplar. This paper differentiates the anarchist critique from the criticisms of corporocentric, economic-liberalism emanating from social democrats and advocates of corporate social responsibility. It demonstrates the pertinence of social anarchist approaches to re-thinking the co-ordination of the production and distribution of goods, highlighting inadequacies in state-centred managerial responses to the harms and deficiencies of Friedman’s free-market.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:anarchism, business ethics, social responsibility, virtues, Milton Friedman, corporocentric
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Franks, Dr Benjamin
Authors: Franks, B.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization
Journal Abbr.:Ephemera
Publisher:University of Leicester
ISSN (Online):1473-2866
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Author
First Published:First published in Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization 14(4):699-724
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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