Corporate responsibility and advocacy conviction: How the forces of passion and reason shape contemporary industrial issues

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Business leaders today are cognizant that public expectations of business have changed dramatically in recent years and are legitimate. The result is a value shift towards the ethics of responsibility. This is coritrasted by advocacy groups, which tend to be motivated by passion, and adhere to the ethics of conviction, where the end justifies the means. Is it true, as German sociologist Max Weber suggests, that the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility are fundamentally differing - and in his view - irreconcilably opposed maxims? Or can they be bridged to enable thoughiful public debate on issues of importarice? This proiect looks at the firestorms of negative publicity which often ensue around proposals to site industrial fc~cilities in British Columbia, and the challenges posed for regulators attempting to make informed decisions. The role of the media is evaluated, as is the influence 'experts' have on coverage of contentious issues.

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Liberal Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
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Project (M.A.)