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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Can a Business Have a Conscience?

Manuel Velasquez

Manuel Velasquez

Reflections on the moral responsibility of corporations

Podcast of the Talk

An exploration of the moral responsibilities of corporations and corporate conscience, by Manuel Velasquez, Charles J. Dirksen Professor of Management, Santa Clara University.

There is little dispute that an individual has a conscience, understood as a capacity for moral awareness and judgment. But what about a collection of individuals organized into a business? Such questions have gained in importance due to concerns over whether a corporation can be considered a "person," and whether a business must provide insurance coverage for practices to which its owners have religious objections (the Hobby Lobby case).

Professor Velasquez, one of the top business ethicists in the country, has written on the personhood of corporations, and will offer insights on this new shape of this vexing issue.

Apr 8, 2014