Journal of Business Ethics 138 (1):145-159 (2016)

In behavioral ethics today, there is debate as to which theory of moral development is the best for understanding ethical decision making, thereby facilitating ethical behavior. This debate between behavioral ethicists has been profoundly influenced by the field of moral psychology. Unfortunately, in the course of this marriage between moral psychology and business ethics and subsequent internal debate, a simple but critical understanding of human being in the field of management has been obscured; i.e., that morality is not a secondary phenomenon arising out of something else. Therefore, in this paper, we will argue that there is a need in behavioral ethics to shift our understanding away from the influence of contemporary moral psychology and back to management theorist Ghoshal’s :75–91, 2005) view of what it means to be human in which the moral is fundamental. To assist in this labor, we will build on the philosophical work of Emmanuel Levinas who sees ethics, regardless of the setting, as a metaphysical concern. What this means is that Levinas sees the essential moral character of human life and the reality of human agency as ontologically fundamental, or constitutive of human nature itself. In other words, the ethical is the “first cause” in regard to understanding the nature and action of the individual, including within organizations. Thus, morality in any sphere of human endeavor, including in business, is not merely epiphenomenal to some more fundamental reality.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-015-2628-y
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References found in this work BETA

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1983 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
Totality and Infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.
Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1998 - Johns Hopkins University Press.

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Psychology and Business Ethics: A Multi-level Research Agenda.Gazi Islam - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 165 (1):1-13.

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