The post-financial crisis world is becoming a more business-critical one. There are unprecedented levels of scrutiny of large corporations and their actions and those who fall foul of the law face a more severe backlash than before.
This is breathing new life into the debate around corporate moral responsibility and the extent to which business organisations can be correctly said to have moral responsibilities and obligations. In philosophical terms, the question is posed as one of the “moral agency” of organisations. Nonetheless, in practice, we speak readily of BP “being responsible” for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill—it is considered morally blameworthy—and actions are taken against the company. Under Anglo-American law, at least, a corporation such as BP is considered a legal person, but is it a moral person?