Journal of Business Ethics 87 (1):109 - 116 (2009)
|Abstract||The ethics of corporate crisis management is a seriously underdeveloped field. Among recent proposals in the area, two contributions stand out: Seeger and Ulmer’s (2001) virtue ethics approach to crisis management ethics and Simola’s (2003) ethics of care. In the first part of the paper, I argue that both contributions are problematic: Seeger and Ulmer focus on top management and propose virtues that lack substance and are in need of further development. Simola’s proposal is also fraught with difficulty, since it seems to conceive of ethics of care as a course of action that can be chosen in a crisis, something which runs contrary to the idea of caring. In the second part of the paper, I argue that Simola and Seeger and Ulmer are nevertheless on the right track, and I propose some directions for further development of the ethics of corporate crisis management. I argue that the value of codes of conduct is limited. Furthermore, I propose a way of identifying relevant virtues for corporate crisis management and discuss a problem that is prevalent in crisis management ethics (the temptation of ad hoc utilitarianism).|
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