Professor Boatright raises three interesting objections in response to the internal morality of contracting the authors uncover in a previous issue. In response to the criticism of contractualist business ethics that it provides insufficient moral substance, it is argued that the notion of contracting is not a normatively neutral idea because of the normative commitments implied in everyday contracting practices. Thus, contrary to what Boatright claims the authors were not doing, their aim was indeed to show contracting is inherently normative because it contains an internal morality. To substantiate this claim, the authors began by arguing that contracting necessarily involves normative expectations of mutual benefit and effectiveness. These expectations are not only justified - that is, they are reasonably entertained by contractors engaged in contracting practices - but also necessary, because when they are generally lacking people out not understand what is going on as contracting.

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van Oosterhout, H., Heugens, P., & Kaptein, M. (2007). Contractualism vindicated: A response to Boatright. Academy of Management Review, 295–297. Retrieved from