Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1381-1391 (1997)

Just as Michael Porter's five forces provided a practical analytical tool for describing the forces that shape competitive strategy, so business ethicists ought to provide business leaders with a workable framework for understanding the sources of ethical obligations. The forces that shape competitive strategy vary according to time and industry, but are anchored in an ultimate criteria of profitability. Similarily, ethics can use a set of analytical categories that identify the relevant forces to business ethics on the basis of relationality.This paper first argues that relationality based on naturalism is the primary, plausible value for ethics. Second, it adapts a tripartite dialectic from scholars William Frederick and Michael Novak to describe the relational categories with which business must contend. Third, it uses these forces in a way similar to Porter's competitive forces to offer an analytical language familiar to managers in order to characterize business ethics.
Keywords Philosophy   Ethics   Business Education   Economic Growth   Management
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005726907404
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