Four ways of addressing pluralism for CSR
by Morten E.J. Nielsen; Claus S. Frederiksen
International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IJSEI), Vol. 2, No. 3, 2013

Abstract: Taking its cue from a presentation and discussion of two corporate social responsibility e-learning tools which emphasises ethical awareness and deliberation, this article discusses pluralism and four ways of addressing it with an eye to decision procedures, especially as concerns CSR policies. First, direct pluralism, understood as a hybrid between various traditional ethical theories, and different versions of ethical relativism, including a new version the authors call stakeholder relativism, is discussed and rejected as plausible ways of addressing pluralism. After this, so-called 'two-level utilitarianism' is presented as an alternative decision strategy. Then, taking into account recent trends in philosophy, the paper turns to discuss one of the most influential attempts to address pluralism, namely John Rawls' (et al.) deontological proceduralism. We argue that both two-level utilitarianism and deontological proceduralism can serve as justifiable theoretical backgrounds for CSR and decision making in the light of pluralism.

Online publication date: Sat, 05-Oct-2013

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