start of page content

Dr Samuel Mansell

Dr Samuel Mansell

BA (Hons) MSc PhD

Lecturer in Business Ethics

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)1334 46 2809

Biography

Samuel joined the School of Management at the University of St Andrews in September 2010. Prior to this he was based at the University of Essex where he studied Accounting & Management (BA, 2000 to 2003) and Finance & Management (MSc, 2003 to 2004) with the aim of a lucrative career in corporate finance. The chance discovery of philosophy led him towards a more contemplative vocation; so he began a PhD in 2004 researching philosophical questions in business ethics (under the supervision of Steffen Böhm and Harro Höpfl). He completed his thesis in 2009, entitled A Critique of Stakeholder Theory, while working for two years as a Lecturer at Essex Business School.

At St Andrews, he served as Pro Dean Undergraduate (Arts & Divinity) from 2015 to 2017.

Research interests

My research draws on the history of moral, political and legal philosophy to rethink contemporary questions in business ethics. In particular, I am interested in the presuppositions of arguments concerning the purpose of business corporations – especially the concept of the corporation itself and the ethics of capitalism. I am currently researching the idea of the corporate person, and the source of its authority, in medieval and early modern jurisprudence (particularly in the work of Hobbes), in an attempt to reassess the contemporary debate on corporate purpose and the reform of corporate governance. I recently led a collaborative effort (with Avia Pasternak, David Gindis and John Ferguson) to bring together perspectives on the corporation from the disciplines of business, philosophy and law; our special issue 'Rethinking Corporate Agency' was published by Journal of Business Ethics in 2019.

Before I developed an interest in the corporation's ontology, I had examined (in my PhD thesis) the moral principles underpinning the so-called 'shareholder vs stakeholder' debate, and subsequently published the first book-length critique of stakeholder theory (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Further topics at the intersection of business ethics and philosophy, on which I have published (or am currently writing on), include: the ethics of bureaucracy, shareholder activism, employee participation, responsible management education, ethical objectivity, the 'just price' in financial markets, and the moral agency of charities. In political philosophy, I am working on a critique Hobbes's argument for legitimate disobedience, from the perspective of natural law theory.

I would be delighted to hear from potential PhD students interested in a philosophical and/or historical treatment of any topic in business ethics: for example, corporate governance and accountability, stakeholder theory, political CSR, corporate citizenship, employee democracy, CEO pay, corporate rights, corporate responsibility for human rights, shareholder activism, and management education.

Publications

Books

Capitalism, Corporations and the Social Contract: A Critique of Stakeholder Theory
Mansell, S. F., 2013, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 185 p. (Business, Value Creation and Society)
Research output: Book/ReportBook

 

Chapters

Employment Relations, Stakeholder Theory and Business Ethics
Timming, A. R. & Mansell, S. F., 11 May 2018, The Routledge Companion to Employment Relations. Colvin, A., Donaghey, J., Dundon, T. & Wilkinson, A. (eds.). Routledge, p. 448-462
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Ethical Practice in Management Education: Teaching Responsible Enterprise
Mansell, S. F. & Lovatt, C. J., 3 May 2016, Knowledge and Practice in Business and Organisations. Orr, K., Nutley, S., Russell, S., Bain, R., Hacking, B. & Moran, C. (eds.). Routledge, (Routledge Advances in Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther contribution

How can teaching and learning encourage responsible enterprise?
Grahle, C., Gray, R. H., Hibbert, P. C. & Mansell, S. F., Mar 2014, Creating cultures of integrity: Ethics education in UK business schools. Bell, E., Caulfield, P., Hibbert, P. & Jennings, P. (eds.). York: The Higher Education Academy, p. 11-16 5 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Business Ethics and the Question of Objectivity: The Concept of Moral Progress in a Dialectical Framework
Mansell, S. F., 30 Apr 2010, Ethics and Organizational Practice: Questioning the Moral Foundations of Management. Edward Elgar
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

Articles

Moral agency in charities and business corporations: exploring the constraints of law and regulation
Burt, E. & Mansell, S. F., Sep 2019, In : Journal of Business Ethics. 159, 1, p. 59-73 15 p. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3750-9
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Medieval corporations, membership and the common good: rethinking the critique of shareholder primacy
Mansell, S. F. & Sison, A., 9 Jul 2019, In : Journal of Institutional Economics. Forthcoming, 38 p. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1744137419000146
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shareholder theory and Kant's 'Duty of Beneficence'
Mansell, S. F., 2013, In : Journal of Business Ethics. 117, 3, p. 583-599 17 p. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-012-1542-9
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Proximity and Rationalisation: The Limits of a Levinasian Ethics in the Context of Corporate Governance and Regulation
Mansell, S. F., Dec 2008, In : Journal of Business Ethics. 83, 3, p. 565-577 13 p. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-007-9639-2
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

Papers

Introduction to Symposium on Capitalism, Corporations and the Social Contract: A Critique of Stakeholder Theory
Mansell, S. F., 2 Oct 2015, (Accepted/In press).
Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

 

Reviews

Liberalism and the Governance of Populations: Review of Michel Foucault (2008) The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-1979, trans. G. Burchell. Palgrave Macmillan
Mansell, S. F., 2011, In : Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization. 10, 3
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

A Didactic Polemic for a Renewed Business Ethics: A Review of For Business Ethics by Jones, Parker and ten Bos
Mansell, S., Mar 2006, In : Organization. 13, 2, p. 310-312 3 p. https://doi.org/10.1177/135050840601300211
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

 

Other publications

Rethinking corporate agency in business, philosophy and law
Mansell, S. F., Ferguson, R. J., Gindis, D. & Pasternak, A., Feb 2019, In : Journal of Business Ethics. 154, 4, p. 893-899 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-3895-1
Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

The Nature and Purpose of the Corporation: A Roundtable Discussion
Dunne, S., Mansell, S. F., Veldman, J. & Parker, M., Feb 2016, In : Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization. 16, 1, p. 135-153
Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Introduction: Between no future and business-as-usual: Exploring futures of capitalism
Izak, M., Mansell, S. F. & Fuller, T., Apr 2015, In : Futures. 68, p. 1-4 4 p. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2015.03.006
Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Rejoinder to Veldman’s review of Capitalism, Corporations and the Social Contract: A Critique of Stakeholder Theory
Mansell, S. F., 27 Feb 2015, In : Organization. 22, p. 271-275 5 p. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508414557535
Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

 

Other research activities

Editorial Board Member of Journal of Business Ethics (2018- ).

Co-editor (with Prof John Ferguson, Dr Avia Pasternak and Dr David Gindis) of a special issue of Journal of Business Ethics on 'Rethinking Corporate Agency in business, politics and philosophy', published in 2019. 

Co-organiser (with Dr Liz Ashford) of Corporate Agency and Shared Responsibility, a conference co-hosted by the School of Management and Department of Moral Philosophy, 2 to 4 November 2015.  Keynote speaker: Philip Pettit.

Co-organiser (with Dr John Desmond and Prof Paul Hibbert) of a workshop on Responsible Management Education, School of Management, University of St Andrews, 5 May 2015.

Co-editor (with Dr Michal Izak and Prof Ted Fuller) of a special issue of Futures on 'Futures of Capitalism', published April 2015.

Organiser of the 2nd St Andrews Conference on Ethics, Sustainability and Accountability, School of Management, University of St Andrews, 22 to 23 July 2014.

Organiser of the Inaugural Conference on Ethics, Sustainability and Accountability, School of Management, University of St Andrews, 15 to 16 July 2013.