The Columns

“Markets & Morals” Speaker to Discuss Responsibilities of Business in Society

— by on November 11th, 2016

Harvard Business School Associate Professor Nien-he Hsieh (Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer)Harvard Business School Associate Professor Nien-he Hsieh (Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer)

Nien-hê Hsieh, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, will lecture on “The Role and Responsibilities of Business in Society: Back to Basics” at Washington and Lee University, on Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. The talk is free and open to the public.

His lecture is part of the year-long series on Markets and Morals and is sponsored by W&L’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics. For more information about this series, see: https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center/programs-and-events/2016-2017-markets-and-morals.

Hsieh’s research concerns ethical issues in business and the responsibilities of global business leaders. His work centers on the question of whether and how managers ought to be guided not only by considerations of economic efficiency, but also by values such as fairness and freedom and respect for basic rights. He has pursued this question in a variety of contexts, including the employment relationship and the operation of multinational enterprises in developing economies.

He also studies foundational aspects of this question, examining principles for rational decision-making when choices involve multiple values that appear incomparable. In his current work, Hsieh focuses on institutional dimensions of this question where he investigates standards managers should follow even if not required by legal and public institutions and how managers should respond when existing institutions make it difficult to meet these standards.

Hsieh is the author of “The Social Contract Model of Corporate Purpose and Responsibility” in Business Ethics Quarterly (October, 2015); “Should Business Have Human Rights Obligations?” Special Issue on Business and Human Rights in the Journal of Human Rights (April-June 2015); and “Multinational Corporations, Global Justice and Corporate Responsibility: A Question of Purpose,” in Notizie di Politeia (2013).

His work has been published in journals including Business Ethics QuarterlyEconomics and Philosophy, The Journal of Political PhilosophyPhilosophy and Public AffairsSocial Theory and Practice, and Utilitas. He serves on the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly and the executive board of the Society for Business Ethics.