A model of business ethics

Journal of Business Ethics 77 (3):303 - 322 (2008)
Abstract
It appears that in the 30 years that business ethics has been a discipline in its own right a model of business ethics has not been proffered. No one appears to have tried to explain the phenomenon known as ‚business ethics’ and the ways that we as a society interact with the concept, therefore, the authors have addressed this gap in the literature by proposing a model of business ethics that the authors hope will stimulate debate. The business ethics model consists of three principal components (i.e. expectations, perceptions and evaluations) that are interconnected by five sub-components (i.e. society expects; organizational values, norms and beliefs; outcomes; society evaluates; and reconnection). The introduced model makes a contribution to the creation of a conceptual framework for business ethics. A few tentative conclusions may be drawn from the introduced model of business ethics. The model aspires to be highly dynamic. The ultimate outcome is dependent upon the evolution of time and contexts. It is also dependent upon and provides reference to the behaviours and perceptions of people. The model proposes business ethics to be a continuous and an iterative process. There is no actual end of the process, but a constant reconnection to the initiation of successive process iterations of the business ethics model. The principals and sub-components of the model construct the dynamics of this continuous process. They provide guidance on what and how to explore our common efforts to understand the phenomenon known as business ethics. The model provides opportunities for further research in the field of business ethics.
Keywords model of business ethics  conceptual framework
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