AbstractThis article focuses on the philosophical presuppositions of the second King Report on corporate governance for South Africa (hereafter referred to as the King II Report). Especially in the “Introduction and Background” section of the King II Report it is clear that the Report is premised upon a specific understanding of the present-day corporation and its moral obligations. The purpose of this article is to commit what Charles Taylor called “an act of retrieval” in which the philosophical premises of the King II Report will be unearthed and exposed. It will be argued that the view of the present-day corporation that underlies the King II Report could be related back to a number of debates on the notion of the comtemporary corporation and its moral responsibilities that have been played out since the 1970s. It will be indicated how these debates provide the philosophical foundations for the view of the comtemporary corporation and its moral obligations that is espoused in the King II Report. The claim made in the Report that the African world view and culture influenced the Report’s notion of corporate governance will also be critically reviewed. Finally it will be attempted to evaluate to what extent the recommendations of the King II Report live up to its own philosophical premises.
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