Drawing on the work of Jürgen Habermas's social theory for the critical study of management, organization and employment, this book proposes a new definition of legitimate corporate action; based on Habermas's principles of communicative rationality and discourse ethics. Systematic in its application of the full range of Habermas's arguments to management and economics, it uses insights from these disciplines to inform a critique and reconstruction of Habermas's work. The result is a distinctive new conceptualization of the relationship between social interaction and economic structures and institutions. Concluding that corporate legitimacy - the successful combination of market economics with distributive and environmental justice - is only possible in the context of deliberative forms of democratic workplace governance, the findings of this work have serious implications for our understanding of corporate social responsibility and of the part managers and employees can play in putting it into practice.
Contents: Preface; Introduction: the corporate theory of society and the search for legitimacy; Challenging the corporate theory of society; Habermas's Social Theory; The structure of communication in systemic contexts of action; Legitimate action in systemic contexts; The concept of worldviews; Systemic worldviews in practice: corporate legitimacy and the employment relationship; Repoliticizing management; Bibliography; Index.