Toward a New Social Contract Theory in Organization Science

Joseph T. Mahoney, Anne S. Huff, James O. Huff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article suggests that strategy research (and other management disciplines as well) should move beyond a neo-Hobbesian approach to contracting toward a new social contract approach. Work from an agency theory perspective in particular has generated utilitarian insights, but its description of agent behavior is too limited and its assumptions are not a useful guide to productive alliances among firms. Altruism, ethics, goodwill, moral sentiments, and trust need to be placed in the foreground of our vision, and society must be accepted as the ultimate principal to which both individuals and firms are responsible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-168
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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