Business Ethics as a Field of Training, Teaching and Research in Europe

Journal of Business Ethics 104 (S1):29-41 (2011)
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Abstract

In this survey of business ethics in Europe, we compare the present state of business ethics in Europe with the situation as described by Enderle (BEER 5(1):33–46, 1996 ). At that time, business ethics was still dominated by a mainly philosophical, normative analysis of business issues with a maximum of 25 chairs in business ethics all over Europe. It has since expanded dramatically in numbers as well as diversified into many different domains. We find this rich diversity in the conception of business ethics back in the answers of our respondents to every single question. The concepts they propose, the courses they teach, the subjects under research as well as the training and consultancy offered to clients and even the challenges for the future all reflect this diversity. Decisive for the expansion of business ethics in Europe has been the advance of CSR and the official backing of CSR by the European Commission. We further argue that the prevalence and importance of business ethics and CSR differs throughout Europe. A rough approximation based on our survey results and literature review is that it is more important and more developed in core and Nordic European countries and somewhat less in Southern and Eastern European countries. The real East with countries like Belarus and Bulgaria remains a challenge

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Geert Demuijnck
EDHEC Business School