Abstract: Donaldson and Dunfee¿s project for an Integrated Social Contracts Theory (ISCT) is arguably the most promising approach to business ethics currently available. At any rate, we claim that the contract model forms a better point of departure for a theory of business ethics than the presently dominant stakeholder model. Whereas the stakeholder model is unable to crack four types of defining problems of business ethics, the contract model is in principle capable of providing more concrete practical guidance on these issues. These are the problems of stakeholder identification, of accommodation, of incommensurability and of collective action. This paper will characterize these types of defining problems, illustrate the manner in which stakeholder theory fails to resolve them and indicate the manner in which the contract model can be invoked to do a better job.
|Published - 2005