Moral Motivation across Ethical Theories: What Can We Learn for Designing Corporate Ethics Programs?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Business Ethics 81 (4):751 - 764 (2008)
In this article we discuss what are the implications for improving the design of corporate ethics programs, if we focus on the moral motivation accounts offered by main ethical theories. Virtue ethics, deontological ethics and utilitarianism offer different criteria of judgment to face moral dilemmas: Aristotle's virtues of character, Kant's categorical imperative, and Mill's greatest happiness principle are, respectively, their criteria to answer the question "What is the right thing to do?" We look at ethical theories from a different perspective: the question we ask is "Why should I do the right thing?" In other words, we deal with the problem of moral motivation, and we examine the different rationale the main ethical theories provide. We then point out the relation between moral motivation and the concept of rationality in the different approaches - is acting morally seen as an expression of rational behavior? Our analysis of moral motivation provides a useful framework to improve the understanding of the relationships between formal and informal elements of corporate ethics programs, emphasizing the importance of the latter, often overlooked in compliance-focused programs. We conclude by suggesting that the concept of moral imagination can provide a unifying approach to enhance the effectiveness of corporate ethics programs, by providing an intangible asset that supports the implementation of their formal components into management decision making.
|Keywords||Philosophy Quality of Life Research Management/Business for Professionals Economic Growth Ethics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
David Hume (1739/2000). A Treatise of Human Nature. Oxford University Press.
Amartya K. Sen (1977). Rational Fools: A Critique of the Behavioral Foundations of Economic Theory. Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):317-344.
David Hume (1739/1978). Treatise on Human Nature. Oxford University Press.
Laura Dunham, R. Edward Freeman & Jeanne Liedtka (2006). Enhancing Stakeholder Practice: A Particularized Exploration of Community. Business Ethics Quarterly 16 (1):23-42.
Edwin M. Hartman (1998). The Role of Character in Business Ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (3):547-559.
Citations of this work BETA
Ignacio Ferrero & Alejo José G. Sison (2014). A Quantitative Analysis of Authors, Schools and Themes in Virtue Ethics Articles in Business Ethics and Management Journals. [REVIEW] Business Ethics: A European Review 23 (4):375-400.
Claus Dierksmeier (2013). Kant on Virtue. Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):597-609.
Simone de Colle, Adrian Henriques & Saras Sarasvathy (2013). The Paradox of Corporate Social Responsibility Standards. Journal of Business Ethics 125 (2):1-15.
David A. Ralston & Allison Pearson (2010). The Cross-Cultural Evolution of the Subordinate Influence Ethics Measure. Journal of Business Ethics 96 (1):149 - 168.
Ronald Paul Hill & Justine M. Rapp (2014). Codes of Ethical Conduct: A Bottom-Up Approach. Journal of Business Ethics 123 (4):621-630.
Similar books and articles
Richard H. Guerrette (1986). Environmental Integrity and Corporate Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 5 (5):409 - 415.
Jason Stansbury & Bruce Barry (2007). Ethics Programs and The Paradox of Control. Business Ethics Quarterly 17 (2):239-261.
Joakim Sandberg (2012). Ethics in Corporations. In Ruth Chadwick (ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, 2nd ed. Academic Press
Steven N. Brenner (1992). Ethics Programs and Their Dimensions. Journal of Business Ethics 11 (5-6):391-399.
Mark S. Schwartz (2002). A Code of Ethics for Corporatecode of Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 41 (1-2):27 - 43.
John C. Ruhnka & Steven Weller (1990). The Ethical Implications of Corporate Records Management Practices and Some Suggested Ethical Values for Decisions. Journal of Business Ethics 9 (2):81 - 92.
Sergio Tenenbaum (2011). Externalism, Motivation, and Moral Knowledge. In Susana Nuccetelli & Gary Seay (eds.), Ethical Naturalism: Current Debates. Cambridge University Press
Norman E. Bowie (2004). A Kantian Perspective on the Characteristics of Ethics Programs. Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (2):275-292.
Mark S. Blodgett (2011). Substantive Ethics: Integrating Law and Ethics in Corporate Ethics Programs. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 99 (S1):39-48.
Norman E. Bowie (2005). Management Ethics. Blackwell Pub..
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads64 ( #50,956 of 1,724,746 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #110,389 of 1,724,746 )
How can I increase my downloads?