Evolutionary processes, moral luck, and the ethical responsibilities of the manager

Journal of Business Ethics 91 (1):113 - 126 (2010)
The responsibilities of the manager have been examined through several lenses in the business ethics literature: Kantian (Bowie, 1999 ), contractarian (Donaldson and Dunfee, 1999 ), consequentialist (Friedman, 1970 ), and virtue ethics (Solomon, 1992 ), to name just four. This paper explores what the ethical responsibilities of the manager would look like if viewed through an evolutionary lens. Discussion is focused on the impact of evolutionary thinking on the process of moral reasoning, rather than on the sources or the substance of morality. The conclusion is reached that the evolutionary lens supports the view that moral luck plays an important role in how we assign ethical responsibilities.
Keywords business ethics  theoretical foundation  evolution  moral luck  ethical responsibility
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DOI 10.2307/27749781
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