Ethical theory in business ethics: A critical assessment [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 8 (7):521 - 533 (1989)

How is ethical theory used in contemporary teaching in business ethics? To answer this question, we undertook a survey of twenty-five of the leading business ethics texts. Our purpose was to examine the ways in which normative moral theory is introduced and applied to cases and issues. We focused especially on the authors' views of the conflicts and tensions posed by basic theoretical debates. How can these theories be made useful if fundamental tensions are acknowledged? Our analysis resulted in a typology, presented here, of the ways in which normative theory, and the difficulties within it, are handled in business ethics texts. We conclude that there is a serious lack of clarity about how to apply the theories to cases and a persistent unwillingness to grapple with tensions between theories of ethical reasoning. These deficiencies hamper teaching and ethical decision-making.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00382928
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,649
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Corporations and Morality.Thomas Donaldson - 1982 - Journal of Business Ethics 1 (3):251-253.
Corporate Strategy and the Search for Ethics.R. Edward Freeman & Daniel R. Gilbert - 1992 - Journal of Business Ethics 11 (7):514-554.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Role of Character in Business Ethics.Edwin M. Hartman - 1998 - Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (3):547-559.

View all 37 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Management-Science and Business-Ethics.Alan E. Singer & M. S. Singer - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (4):385-395.
The Course in Business Ethics.George L. Pamental - 1991 - Business Ethics Quarterly 1 (4):385-393.
Toward a Foundational Normative Method in Business Ethics.Lester F. Goodchild - 1986 - Journal of Business Ethics 5 (6):485 - 499.
Is There “No Such Thing as Business Ethics”?Eric H. Beversluis - 1987 - Journal of Business Ethics 6 (2):81 - 88.
A Framework for Teaching Business Ethics.Alfonso R. Oddo - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (3):293-297.
A Systematic Approach to Teaching Ethics in Business.F. Neil Brady - 1999 - Journal of Business Ethics 19 (3):309 - 318.


Added to PP index

Total views
57 ( #136,034 of 2,242,384 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #815,341 of 2,242,384 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature