Conscience and its Counterfeits in Organizational Life

Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (1):189-201 (2000)
Abstract
This paper explains and defends three basic propositions: (1) that our attitudes (particularly American attitudes) towardorganizational ethics are conflicted at a fairly deep level; (2) that in response to this conflict in our attitudes, we often default to variouscounterfeits of conscience (non-moral systems that serve as surrogates for the role of conscience in organizational settings); and(3) that a better response (than relying on counterfeits) would be for leaders to foster a culture of ethical awareness in their organizations. Some practical suggestions are made about fostering such a culture, and a comparison is made between this late-20th-century response to the problem of counterfeits and the classic “naturalistic fallacy” identified in early-20th-century ethics by G. E. Moore
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Mark C. Murphy (1997). The Conscience Principle. Journal of Philosophical Research 22:387-407.
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