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Corporate philanthropy as a context for moral agency, a MacIntyrean enquiry.

Nicholson, H. and Beadle, R. and Slack, R. (2019) 'Corporate philanthropy as a context for moral agency, a MacIntyrean enquiry.', Journal of business ethics. .


It has been claimed that ‘virtuous structures’ can foster moral agency in organisations. We investigate this in the context of employee involvement in corporate philanthropy, an activity whose moral status has been disputed. Employing Alasdair MacIntyre’s account of moral agency, we analyse the results of eight focus groups with employees engaged in corporate philanthropy in an employee-owned retailer, the John Lewis Partnership. Within this organisational context, Employee-Partners’ moral agency was evidenced in narrative accounts of their engagement in philanthropic activities and in their disputes about the moral status of corporate philanthropy.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date accepted:16 May 2019
Date deposited:17 May 2019
Date of first online publication:29 May 2019
Date first made open access:No date available

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