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Corporate Governance and Ethics
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Corporate Governance and Ethics

An Aristotelian Perspective

9781845427467 Edward Elgar Publishing
Alejo José G. Sison, Professor, University of Navarre, Spain
Publication Date: 2008 ISBN: 978 1 84542 746 7 Extent: 256 pp
Corporate Governance and Ethics is an illuminating and practical reading of Aristotle’s Politics for today’s corporate directors. With a deft synthesis of ethics, economics and politics, Alejo Sison elevates the discussion of corporate governance out of the realm of abstract rules and structures into a more effective form of Aristotelian politics. He argues that corporate governance is a human practice where subjective, ethical conditions outweigh the mastery of techniques, since the firm is not a mere production function but, above all, a community of workers. Corporate governance issues are discussed in a holistic fashion, using international case studies to embed the discussion in environments defined by their economic, legal and cultural systems. One of the author’s key messages is that reform starts with the ethical and political education of directors.

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Contents
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Corporate Governance and Ethics is an illuminating and practical reading of Aristotle’s Politics for today’s corporate directors. With a deft synthesis of ethics, economics and politics, Alejo Sison elevates the discussion of corporate governance out of the realm of abstract rules and structures into a more effective form of Aristotelian politics. He argues that corporate governance is a human practice where subjective, ethical conditions outweigh the mastery of techniques, since the firm is not a mere production function but, above all, a community of workers. Corporate governance issues are discussed in a holistic fashion, using international case studies to embed the discussion in environments defined by their economic, legal and cultural systems. One of the author’s key messages is that reform starts with the ethical and political education of directors.

Alejo Sison uses an integrative approach to corporate governance that incorporates ethical-political considerations with the economic and legal dimensions of issues. He backs his theoretical claims with a series of case histories including Fiat from Italy, Cheung Kong Holdings and Whampoa Limited from China, Banco Popular from Spain and United Airlines from the US. He provides a special focus on the education of corporate directors in accordance with the principles of Aristotle’s Politics.

This accessible book will appeal to corporate directors, executives and managers; academics and students with an interest in corporate governance, leadership and ethics, corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility; and modern readers of Aristotle’s virtue theory and politics in relation to business ethics.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book can be highly recommended to corporate directors, executives, managers and interested academics. At the same time, however, I think it should also be on the reading list of every politician involved in rethinking the regulations of the economic system in these times of social, ecological and financial crisis.’
– Frederic Ghys, Ethical Perspectives

‘This is an interesting and thought provoking study that deals with a relatively neglected area of corporate and personal leadership. . . this book makes a significant contribution to recognising the emerging social and moral responsibilities of the individual leader at board level. . . The case studies used to support the author’s argument are extremely detailed and would certainly be of interest to those on corporate boards and directors of organisations who maybe seeking answers to lessons learned and the author makes a clear recommendation regarding the teaching of virtuous values to corporate leaders.’
– Trevor K. Horne, Leadership Matters
Contents
Contents: Foreword by Jeffrey Pfeffer Introduction 1. Changing Conventional Wisdom: The Firm is not a Money-making Machine 2. Corporate Governance by Box Ticking 3. Governance and Government from an Aristotelian Perspective 4. Shareholders, Stakeholders and Citizens 5. Corporate Despots and Constitutional Rulers 6. A Few Good Men? 7. Corporate Polities and Corporate Democracies 8. Governance as Praxis Index
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