Trust and Dialogue: Theoretical Approaches to Ethics Auditing

Journal of Business Ethics 57 (3):209-219 (2005)
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. The aim of this paper is to put forward an ethical framework for the conceptualization and development of ethics audits, here understood as a catalyst for company dialogue and in general, for management of ethics in the company. Ethics auditing is understood as the opportunity and agreement to devise a system to inform on ethical corporate behavior. This system essentially aims to increase the transparency and credibility of the companys commitment to ethics. At the same time, the process of elaborating this system allows us to introduce the moral dimension into company actions and decisions, thereby completing a key dimension of the production, maintenance and development of trust capital. To this end, the following four steps are taken. First, we analyze the relation between ethics auditing and trust as a basic moral resource in the dialogue between the company and its various stakeholders. Second, we examine the social balance sheet as a precursor to ethics auditing and focus on what prevents it from going further. Third, we attempt to reconstruct the basic moral assumptions underlying the companys social responsibility from the discourse ethics approach. Finally, we present a methodological framework from which to carry out our proposal, which embraces two basic theoretical perspectives stakeholder theory and the values derived from discourse ethics as a normative framework.



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References found in this work

Business & society: ethics and stakeholder management.Archie B. Carroll - 2002 - Cincinnati, Ohio: South-Western College Pub./Thomson Learning. Edited by Ann K. Buchholtz.
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Business ethics at work.Elizabeth Vallance - 1995 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Defining a post-conventional corporate moral responsibility.Elsa González - 2002 - Journal of Business Ethics 39 (1-2):101 - 108.

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