Despite interminable debate, ethical perspectives have sought to stem the abuse of corporate power by focusing on the split between utility-focused attention to shareholder value, including the ‘enlightened’ kind, and duty-focused imperatives in stakeholder theory. Through thought experiments, this chapter builds a case for a different approach. Ethics scholars including Brandt (1959) and Frankena (1963) highlight contrasting approaches to both utility and duty, separating formation of general rules from examination of individual acts. Act-based ethics points us toward the pragmatism of (...) James (1907/1955) and Dewey (1930) and ‘what works.’ In the context of boards that means connecting duty and consequences and encouraging a fullness of thought: board-level thoughtfulness. This approach has echoes of Werhane’s (2002, 2008) concept of moral imagination and Rorty’s (2006) more radical call to reject recipes and seek new solutions. (shrink)
Economistic Business Ethics Denial (BED) is the belief that contemporary business has features that make it systematically incompatible with ethics. Using over 1200 participants across seven separate samples we established the substantive validity of a BED Scale, confirmed its theorized structure, psychometric properties, convergent, and discriminant validity. The results suggest that the scale assesses four correlated factors of economistic BED. The scale can be used in future research on ethical decision making in business, and business ethics education.
In this article, we resituate a long-standing duality of (Western) narrative tradition over living story emergence and more linear narrative. Narrative, with its focus on linear beginning, middle and end coherence, retrospection and monologic, is too easily appropriated into managerialist projects. We focus on the web of living stories as a Derridian deconstructive move, which allows us to say something important about their relation to narrative and to develop a storytelling ethics. Our thesis is that resituating the relationship between narrative (...) and living story invites exploration of the plurality of narratives that treat living stories as supplementary. We claim that this deconstructive move allows us to rethink politics and ethics anew. Storytelling ethics opens new spaces for marginalized other(s) voices and creates an awareness of our complicity and responsibility for others. Further, storytelling ethics allows for a more nuanced and varied understanding of business ethics and its inherent exclusionary truth and morality claims and paves the way for a more reflexive ethics. (shrink)
Ethical business creates social value. That’s the theme of this bold new volume, heralding and defending this rapidly-growing new conception of capitalism making its way into the mainstream. It provides clear and succinct guidelines for how to evaluate what counts as an ethical business as well as how and why ethical businesses tend to succeed better over the long term. The book is jargon-free and targeted primarily at thought leaders and academics in business and philosophy who will want to use (...) it in their business ethics classes. Each chapter has been selected for its ability to engage a wide audience without oversimplifying the content. -/- All twelve chapters are original and authored by leading business ethicists including William Shaw, Tony Simons, Duane Windsor, and Mark Schwartz. Each piece makes use of recent empirical evidence or ethical theory (or both) in order to present a detailed yet overarching picture of what ethical business looks like—and how to achieve it—in today’s global environment. (shrink)
In this article, we will outline the principles of stakeholder capitalism and describe how this view rejects problematic assumptions in the current narratives of capitalism. Traditional narratives of capitalism rely upon the assumptions of competition, limited resources, and a winner-take-all mentality as fundamental to business and economic activity. These approaches leave little room for ethical analysis, have a simplistic view of human beings, and focus on value-capture rather than value-creation. We argue these assumptions about capitalism are inadequate and leave four (...) problems in their wake. We wish to reframe the narrative of capitalism around the reinforcing concepts of stakeholders coupled with value creation and trade. If we think about how a society can sustain a system of voluntary value creation and trade, then capitalism can once more become a useful concept. (shrink)