Corporate philanthropy as a context for moral agency, a MacIntyrean enquiry

Helen Nicholson, Ron Beadle*, Richard Slack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


It has been claimed that ‘virtuous structures’ can foster moral agency in organisations. We investigate this in the context of employee involvement in corporate philanthropy, an activity whose moral status has been disputed. Employing Alasdair MacIntyre’s account of moral agency, we analyse the results of eight focus groups with employees engaged in corporate philanthropy in an employee-owned retailer, the John Lewis Partnership. Within this organisational context, Employee-Partners’ moral agency was evidenced in narrative accounts of their engagement in philanthropic activities and in their disputes about the moral status of corporate philanthropy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-603
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
Early online date29 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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