Is it ethical to use ethics as strategy?

Journal of Business Ethics 27 (1-2):21 - 31 (2000)

Abstract

Increasingly research in the field of business and society suggests that ethics and corporate social responsibility can be profitable. Yet this work raises a troubling question: Is it ethical to use ethics and social responsibility in a strategic way? Is it possible to be ethical or socially responsible for the wrong reason? In this article, we define a strategy concept in order to situate the different approaches to the strategic use of ethics and social responsibility found in the current literature. We then analyze the ethics of such approaches using both utilitarianism and deontology and end by defining limits to the strategic use of ethics.

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