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BUSINESS CITIZENSHIP: FROM DOMESTIC TO GLOBAL LEVEL OF ANALYSIS Jeanne M. Logsdon and Donna J. Wood Abstract: In this article we first review the development of the concept of global business citizenship and show how the libertarian political philosophy of free-market capitalism must give way to a communitarian view in order for the voluntaristic, local notion of "corporate citizen- ship" to take root. We then distinguish the concept of global business citizenship from "corporate citizenship" by showing how the former concept requires a transition from communitarian thinking to a posi- tion of universal human rights. In addition, we link global business citizenship to global business strategy and to three analytical levels of ethical norms. Finally, we trace a process whereby global businesses can implement fundamental norms and learn to accommodate to legiti- mate cultural differences. A great many challenges arise as scholars, managers, and stakeholders alike struggle to redefine the changing relationships between business organi- zations and their global socio-political environments. The challenge we consider here is that of global business citizenship —its possibility, definition, and pa- rameters. Elsewhere (Logsdon & Wood, 1999; documented that the language of corporate citizenship (CC) appears to be re- placing that of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and that this linguistic shift contains a profound change in normative understandings of how business organizations should act with respect to stakeholders. Our objective is to reframe the moral grounding of CSR within the language of citizenship, as developed in political theory and as applied to business organizations. The questions we ask are these: • Can business organizations be viewed as "citizens" as human beings are? If so, on what grounds can this be done? If not, what are the limitations? • Can the rights and duties of individual citizenship for persons— grounded and enforced in nation-state and domestic locales—be extrapolated to some comparable understanding of universal citizenship? If so, what are the parameters of citizenship rights and duties, and what are the enforcement mechanisms? 2002. Business Ethics Quarterly, Volume 12, Issue 2. ISSN 1052-150X. pp. 155-187
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156 BUSINESS ETHICS QUARTERLY • Assuming these first questions are answered satisfactorily, can the narrow, localized concept of "corporate citizenship" be transformed into a broader, global concept of "business citizenship"? The structure of our larger argument is shown in Table 1.' TABLE 1 FOUR STATES OF CITIZENSHIP Level of Analysis Unit of Analysis The Individual Person as Citizen The Business Organization us Citizen Local, Conununity, or National Scope CELL 1: The Local Citizen Key issues: Relationship of the duties of citizens, including fundamental civil liberties. national 2nd cultural identity.
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2010 for the course CHIN 3111 taught by Professor Chaves during the Spring '10 term at GWU.

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