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  4. The acting bodies and purposiveness of corporate ethics

2016 Vol.2
The acting bodies and purposiveness of corporate ethics


I would like to consider three points related to corporate ethics. First is whether ethics originally developed to apply to natural persons are applicable to a company that at a glance is nothing more than a functional apparatus. I would like to think that a company, just like a natural person, is expected to fulfill a social function so ethics are applicable due to the status of the company as a social entity. The second point is, if ethics are applicable to a company, whether these ethics align with the ethics of company members who are engaged in management and labor. This is fundamentally because a company’s social impact is greater than that of a natural person, so the demands arising from corporate ethics are greater than those arising from the ethics of company members. From here, a debate is needed on the ethics of both the company and its members. The third point is whether the corporate quest for ethics is just a quest for profits, but I would like to think that it is not. What Kant calls a categorical imperative applies to even corporate ethics as a societal demand, and I think that achieving this is something that modern society expects.