Associate Professor of Business Administration, Marvin Bower Fellow
Nien-hê Hsieh is an associate professor of business administration and a Marvin Bower Fellow in the General Management Unit. His research concerns ethical issues in business and the responsibilities of global business leaders. Professor Hsieh teaches Leadership and Corporate Accountability to first-year MBA students and to Executive Education participants in the Program for Leadership Development. He joined the faculty from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an associate professor of legal studies and business ethics and served as co-director of the Wharton Ethics Program.
Professor Hsieh’s research 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 freedom and fairness 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. Professor Hsieh 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, he focuses on institutional dimensions of this question. In this research, 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.
Professor Hsieh's work has been published in Business Ethics Quarterly, Economics and Philosophy, The Journal of Political Philosophy, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Social Theory and Practice, Utilitas, and various other journals. He serves on the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly and the executive board of the Society for Business Ethics.
Professor Hsieh holds a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College, an M.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Wharton in 2001, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Business School, and he has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University, Oxford University, and the Research School for Social Sciences at the Australian National University.
"Can For-Profit Corporations Be Good Citizens? Perspectives from Four Business Leaders"
Corporations and Citizenship brings together scholars from legal studies, business ethics, philosophy, history, political science, and anthropology to address the role of modern for-profit corporations in democratic states.
This chapter serves an epilogue, turning to ask practitioners how they would answer the question, "Can for-profit corporations be good citizens?" In reflecting on their answers, the chapter puts forward an account that grounds the purpose and responsibilities of for-profit corporations in their role in enabling productive activity that allows members of society to meet their needs and wants. This account is contrasted with prevailing accounts in the scholarly literature (e.g., shareholder primacy and stakeholder theory) that frame corporate purpose and responsibility in terms of whose interests the corporation is meant to serve. One area of comparison concerns a central activity of citizenship, which is participation in the political and legislative processes.