Virtues, Managers and Business People: Finding a Place for MacIntyre in a Business Context [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 48 (2):127 - 138 (2003)

Critics point to four issues as presenting barriers to the use of virtue in the context of business. They focus on the relationship between management and practice, the potential for virtuous behaviour in a competitive environment, the ability to develop a reflexive critique of management that can be acted on, and the differentiation between work and wider social roles and people's propensity to take responsibility for them. In this paper we propose a solution to criticisms levelled at the use of virtue within Business Ethics. We examine the critiques of management in the context of Virtue Ethics and the application of these to business. In arguing for a role for business in being virtuous and promoting virtue we accept that the concept of management that is based on the type of liberalism founded on personal preference and benefit is deeply problematic and that management that is driven solely by profit is not compatible with the development of practice based virtue. However, we argue that to exclude those activities in which management is involved as a result would be wrong and dangerous. Instead we see the great advantage of a Virtue Ethic is that it conjures up an alternative vision to the dominant practice, and such an alternative vision is urgently needed in business today
Keywords Philosophy   Ethics   Business Education   Economic Growth   Management
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/B:BUSI.0000004618.10980.36
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