Legal Studies and Business Ethics Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2015

Publication Source

Research in Organizational Behavior

Volume

35

Start Page

181

Last Page

207

DOI

10.1016/j.riob.2015.10.002

Abstract

What is the purpose of business? While most agree that business minimally involves the creation of value, a blurred double image of value haunts our discussion of purpose. The image of what counts as value for a single firm is laid atop an image of what counts as value for business in general. These two images cannot match. Indeed, the resulting conceptual blurriness is a classic example of a composition fallacy. We should never mistake the properties of a part for the properties of the whole. A theory of the firm is ill equipped to handle the many expectations we hold for business practice. As such, we seek to establish the beginnings of a theory of business, one that is both empirical and normative. Offering four central propositions about the purpose, accountability, control and success of business, we close with a consideration of several important theoretical issues and practical opportunities that await us in the years ahead.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Share

COinS
 

Date Posted: 20 June 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.