By Thomas Klikauer

Hegel's ethical company is ready types of a company, one enterprise orientated and devoted to shareholder-value and profit-maximisation and one devoted to ethical lifestyles, Sittlichkeit, in Hegelian phrases.

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Sample text

Simultaneously, if Hegel’s statement ‘philosophy too is its own time apprehended in thoughts’ is correct, a study of modern corporations has to produce a philosophy apprehended in thoughts of today’s time. As a consequence, Hegelian philosophy demands an examination of today’s corporations from the standpoint of philosophy when it seeks to be a philosophical study. It cannot merely be a historical account of Hegelian corporations of the early 19th century. As a result, Hegel’s Sittlichkeit has to be applied to modern corporations, not to the historical configurations of early 19thcentury corporations.

The project of examining modern corporations under the conditions of Hegel’s Sittlichkeit is not designed to follow what Hegelian philosopher Dieter Henrich (1971:215) called being a letter-disciple of Hegel [Buchstabenschüler Hegels]. Instead of surgically dissecting every nuance of every word in Hegel’s original texts, the aim of discussing modern corporations from the standpoint of Hegel’s Sittlichkeit is to retrieve Hegel’s thoughts and philosophies on corporations in order to ‘engage in a living exchange with them’ (Ferrarin 2011).

Hence, Hegel noted:111 Die Korporation als zweite Familie hat für ihre Mitglieder nicht nur die Sicherung der Subsistenz, sondern auch die Standesehre und die soziale Anerkennung zu garantieren. With this Hegel means that ‘the corporation is like a second family’. This is not to be understood in managerial ideologies such as ‘we are all in one boat’ and ‘our company is one big (happy) family’. Under Managerialism, this invokes the following ideological equalisations: families, like corporations, are a natural given.

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