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By Mike Harrison

This article offers an advent to a few of the most important demanding situations dealing with an individual curious about criteria of behaviour in enterprises. It begins from a attention of the assets supplied by means of philosophical ethics and strikes directly to examine the demanding situations inherent in operating in a aggressive company atmosphere.

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1997), How are We to Live: Ethics in an Age of Self-interest, OUP, Oxford. Thompson, M. (1999), Ethical Theory, Hodder and Stoughton, London. Vardy, P. and Grosch, P. (1994), The Puzzle of Ethics, HarperCollins, London. 31 3 Stakeholders and Corporate Social Responsibility Purpose and learning outcomes The purpose of this chapter is to introduce two key concepts in business ethics. These are the use of the word ‘stakeholder’ and the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The ideas given here are an important part of the foundation on which a number of other ideas in business ethics depend.

This illustrates an important point that the development of a ‘stakeholder model’ must depend on its purpose; different models are likely to have practical value in different decision-making contexts. In this book we 34 Stakeholders and Corporate Social Responsibility adopt a pluralistic view of business ethics and therefore a narrow, legalistic approach to drawing stakeholder boundaries will not support many of the approaches we explore. It would also be of some concern if ‘ethical analysis’ became a narrow and defensive activity.

It should be obvious that many ethical theories prescribe limitations and constraints on the action of the individual or an organisation, often enforced by the law. One of the challenges facing utilitarianism (as opposed to egoism) is the constraint it places on the objectives to be pursued by ethical agents. Theories which propound various human rights automatically impose duties on other individuals and governments to respect and promote such rights. The balance between ethics, liberty and the law is therefore something which should always be borne in mind.

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