Who Are Our Hairdressers? A Plea for Institutions and Action

Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (3):391-401 (2003)
Abstract
This 2001 Presidential Address critically examines the mission of SBE and how it can be fulfilled. I begin with Brother Leo Ryan’s1994 Presidential Address, in which he asked how the SBE mission can be accomplished given the growing number of organizations that focus on business ethics. I take up his challenge by focusing on one objective of our stated mission: To help develop ethical business organizations. I examine two ways we might promote this objective: the Moral Market Model advocated by John Boatright in his 1998 Presidential Address and the Market of Morality model advocated by Thomas Dunfee in his 1996 Presidential Address. I argue both views are limited because they focus only on market institutions. I conclude with an example of how breast cancer awareness among African-American women was increased by relying on a multi-institutional approach: organizations (beauty parlors), individuals (hairdressers, who distributed the information), personal relationships, culture, and educational and health care institutions. The question remains: Who are our hairdressers?
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