Business ethics: The law of rules

Business Ethics Quarterly 16 (4):475-504 (2006)
Abstract
Abstract: Despite the recent rash of corporate scandals and the resulting rush to address the problem by adding more laws and regulations, seemingly little attention has been paid to how the nature (not the substance) of rules may or may not affect ethical decision-making. Drawing on work in law, ethics, management, psychology, and other social sciences, this article explores how several characteristics of rules may interfere with the process of reaching and implementing ethical decisions. Such a relationship would have practical implications for regulatory policy and managers of organizations, and the article concludes by suggesting how regulations and corporate ethics programs should be able to improve the ethical culture of business and enhance the ethical decision-making skills of employees
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