The Political Role of the Business Firm: An Ordonomic Concept Inspired by the Aristotelian Idea of Citizenship



Inspired by the Aristotelian idea of citizenship for the antique polis, this article develops an ordonomic concept of “corporate citizenship” that offers two insights for academic scholarship. First, we clarify what is meant by a company’s political role. Companies take such a role if they do not confine themselves to acting as bourgeois within the basic game of business, but also participate as citoyen in the meta games of political rule-setting processes and rule-finding discourses. Second, we show that the political dimension of corporate citizenship need not weaken or compromise a company’s role as an economic actor. Rather, in light of deficient institutional rules, companies need to take a political role if they wish to pursue their selfperfection as economic agents for value creation. In processes of new governance, the economic and political roles of the firm then follow the same win-win logic of individual self-perfection through cooperative social interactions.
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Dr. Taco H. Reus