Extending the Horizon of Business Ethics: Restorative Justice and the Aftermath of Unethical Behavior

Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (3):453-480 (2010)


We call for business ethics scholars to focus more attention on how individuals and organizations respond in the aftermath of unethical behavior. Insight into this issue is drawn from restorative justice, which moves beyond traditional approaches that emphasize retribution or rehabilitation to include restoring victims and other affected parties, reintegrating offenders, and facilitating moral repair in the workplace. We review relevant theoretical and empirical work in restorative justice and develop a conceptual model that highlights how this perspective can enhance theory and empirical research in business ethics. We specifically identify topic areas that we believe have particular promise for business ethics scholars to pursue. We close our paper by discussing implications of the restorative justice approach for practicing managers.

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