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07.09.2015 | Ausgabe 2/2017

Journal of Business Ethics 2/2017

Toward Moral Responsibility Theories of Corporate Sustainability and Sustainable Supply Chain

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Business Ethics > Ausgabe 2/2017
Autor:
Jung Ha-Brookshire

Abstract

In the quest to build truly sustainable corporations and supply chains, we propose (a) the moral responsibility theory of corporate sustainability and (b) the moral responsibility theory of sustainable supply chain. Built from morality literature in philosophy, the view of corporations as moral agents in law, and analyses of corporate hypocrisy and its role in an organization’s and its members’ behaviors, our theories show how a truly sustainable corporation and its external supply chain could emerge. At the core, we believe that without a sense of moral responsibility businesses throughout the supply chain will not be truly sustainable. In today’s highly globalized and fragmented business environments, corporations do businesses with external supply chain partners, and without the truly sustainable supply chain partners, they may not be able to achieve sustainability goals. Moreover, for such a supply chain to be truly sustainable, each member of the supply chain must also be truly sustainable. For each member of the supply chain to be truly sustainable, the individuals who work in a corporation must be truly sustainable as well. That is, a truly sustainable supply chain cannot be established without its member corporations’ and employees’ commitment to and successes in sustainability. This paper shows how business moral responsibility and corporate sustainability are closely intertwined. How these theories could be applied in the corporate and supply chain settings are discussed, and future research opportunities are presented.

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