David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 17 (1):77-85 (1998)
In an individualistic society and in the increasingly competitive business environment people do not seem inclined to forgive others their trespasses. One is more likely to choose to ignore the virtue of forgiveness as a way of handling personnel situations involving intense conflict or mild disagreements, favoring instead the negative feelings of resentment, anger, revenge or retaliation. Business people seem less concerned with growth in virtue and character; interestingly they allow their character and ultimately their work relationships to deteriorate because they hold onto feelings of anger and resentment. Is there a place for forgiveness in our interpersonal relationships in general and in corporate life in particular? I believe there is. A study of the virtue of forgiveness shows that it is a misunderstood virtue, but one that deserves attention. In this article I will examine the virtue of forgiveness, defining what forgiveness is and is not, and will illustrate how it might be situated as an essential human resource management strategy.
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