Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 33–42 | Cite as

The Nature of the Firm, Agency Theory and Shareholder Theory: A Critique from Philosophical Anthropology

  • Joan Fontrodona
  • Alejo José G. Sison
Original Paper


Standard accounts on the nature of the firm are highly dependent on explanations by Coase, coupled with inputs from agency theory and shareholder theory. This paper carries out their critique in light of personalist and common good postulates. It shows how personalist and common good principles create a framework that not only accommodates business ethics better but also affords a more compelling understanding of business as a whole.


nature of the firm agency theory shareholder theory personalism common good 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Business in SocietyIESE Business SchoolBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Philosophy Department, Institute for Enterprise and HumanismUniversity of NavarraPamplonaSpain

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