Graduate studies at Western
Journal of Business Ethics 27 (3):247 - 254 (2000)
|Abstract||In this article two problems with the recently developed "practice or virtue approach" to business ethics are discussed. The first problem concerns an alleged harmony between common demands of morality (generally understood) and the internal goods of actual business practice. The claimed harmony is strong in essence since it holds that the role expectations a good manager has to live up to, do in fact coincide with what morality demands. The second problem is related to the first and concerns the alleged relevance of a virtue perspective for business ethics. According to the virtue perspective discussed in this article, moral reasoning should take actual practice, and only actual practice, as a point of departure. In so doing ethics is claimed to become insulated from e.g. putting irrelevant demands on practitioners. Such demands are understood as based on abstract principles alien to the practice in question. The thesis of this article is that neither of the above mentioned two claims are plausible. This is so basically because one needs to turn elsewhere than to actual business practice in order to detect a morally laden notion of managerial goodness.|
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