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The Ethics of the Living Wage: A Review and Research Agenda

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journal contribution
posted on 24.05.2018, 14:46 by Andrea Werner, Ming Lim
To date, business ethicists, corporate social responsibility scholars as well as management theorists have been slow to provide a comprehensive and critical scrutiny of the Living Wage concept. The aim of this article, therefore, is to conceptualize the living wage (LW) in its philosophical as well as practical dimensions in order to open up the ethical implications of its introduction and implementation by companies. We set out the legal, socio-institutional and economic contexts for the debates around the LW and review arguments for, and against, it. Key philosophical arguments from the perspectives of sustainability, capability and externality are invoked and discussed in order to demonstrate the issues and challenges involved for companies, state and civil society actors. Relevant examples from the private sector are examined to demonstrate some of the practical issues involved when the LW is introduced by employers. The article also recommends avenues for a research agenda into the LW for business ethicists, CSR and management researchers in contexts such as the UK, where a voluntary, rather than mandatory, approach to the implementation of the LW is adopted.

History

Citation

Journal of Business Ethics, 2016, 137 (3), pp. 433-447

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Business

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Journal of Business Ethics

Publisher

Springer Verlag (Germany)

issn

0167-4544

eissn

1573-0697

Acceptance date

31/01/2015

Copyright date

2015

Available date

24/05/2018

Publisher version

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-015-2562-z

Language

en