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Corporate Executive Management Case Study

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According to the Austro-Hungarian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein « no course of action could be determined by a rule, because every course of action can be made out to accord with the rule » (1968, section. 201). Therefore a rule can both be determined by or be a determinant of a set of actions - hence a rule cannot be right or wrong. In the juridical context one must weigh the consequences of the offence and reach a verdict. In the capitalist world in which most of us live moral values have deprecated to the extent that we can ask ourselves if ethical nihilism has become the norm for many corporations. Should corporate executive management be allowed to pursue financial satisfaction for its stakeholders without showing any moral duty in…show more content…
He contends that corporate executive management are agents working on behalf of the shareholders and that there is no room for social responsibility since their sole role is fulfilling shareholders’ objectives, i.e. generating profits. Shareholders invest and expect a return on their investment - the reasoning could not be any clearer. If we switch roles for a moment and try to understand how a shareholder thinks, the logic is even more understandable. By investing in a company, a shareholder expects dividends; if corporate executives use a portion of this investment for philanthropic eleemosynary, questions may be raised around their rights to contribute socially without appropriate authorizations. As business people, managers are not competent to make decisions concerning social needs and priorities (Chryssides, G. and Kaler, J., 1993,…show more content…
and Kaler, J., 1993, p.236). In their book An Introduction to Business Ethics, Chryssides and Kaler talk about “ usurpation argument” which they describe as the “usurpation of the role of democratically elected politicians”. The question that needs to be answered is whether managers are fit to don the cloak of elected officials. It seems rather atypical that an executive is given the power to represent a group of people or a body of constituents. Democracy still runs on the basis that the only articulation of people’s will are votes. Elections are held based on the ideas that our politicians embody, where they come from and what they represent. Furthermore it becomes clear that the political and social inclinations differ from one executive manager to another. For instance, while a more liberal manager may want to impact society as a whole, another more conservative one will likely be more focused on value creation rather than social responsibility. In his paper Jost (2006) portrays the ideologies of CEO’s in the United States and explains that their party-political penchants have very little chances of changing during one’s life time especially as he or she climbs the corporate social ladder. These beliefs are mainly influenced by friends, colleagues, family but most of all by the education from early
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