From Harmony to Conflict: MacIntyrean Virtue Ethics in a Confucian Tradition

Journal of Business Ethics 165 (2):221-239 (2020)

Abstract

This paper explores whether MacIntyrean virtue ethics concepts are applicable in non-Western business contexts, specifically in SMEs in Taiwan, a country strongly influenced by the Confucian tradition. It also explores what differences exist between different polities in this respect, and specifically interprets observed differences between the Taiwanese study and previous studies conducted in Europe and Asia. Based on case study research, the findings support the generalizability of the MacIntyrean framework. Drawing on the institutional logics perspective and synthesizing this with MacIntyrean concepts, the paper explains the differences between the studies largely by reference to the Confucian tradition operating at both the micro-level within firms and at the macro-level as a means of harmonizing the potentially competing institutional logics to which firms are subject. The recent weakening of this tradition, however, suggests that increased conflict may characterize the future.

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Geoff Moore
Durham University

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