Rival Views of Corporate Responsibility: Is Ethics One of Them?

By Maz Demosthenous.

Published by Management Education: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 23, 2015 $US5.00

Given the recent global financial crisis (GFC) and the numerous business scandals worldwide involving accountants and business executives provides a justification to open up the debate of “what are the social responsibilities of a business particularly corporations?” The aim of this paper is to discuss various views of the social responsibility of business, and to consider where accounting may fit in. Friedman’s view, Stakeholder, Legitimacy and Deontological theory, Utilitarianism and Virtues are discussed with the aim to explore the social responsibilities of a corporation. This study found that Corporations may have more than just the responsibility to increase profits for its shareholders, and must consider the environment and community at large but that all depends on the ethical view that one takes to explain their ethical decision making. Additionally, this review found that traditional accounting may need to be reformed to include more social and environmental accounting information and thus making corporations more accountable to the community. Social and environmental accounting may be essential and to be made mandatory if corporations are to satisfy the accountability relationships with stakeholders and if it is to change the consciousness of corporations.

Keywords: Ethics, Stakeholder Theory, Social and Environmental Accounting

Management Education: An International Journal, Volume 14, Issue 3-4, pp.17-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 23, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 425.614KB)).

Maz Demosthenous

Lecturer, Flinders Business School, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I teach Ethics, Sustainability, Corporate Governance and Accounting. My research interests are Ethics, the decision making of business professionals and business/acounting students.