Formal and Informal Benevolence in a Profit-Oriented Context

Journal of Business Ethics 165 (1):125-143 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Faced with the disenchantment and disengagement expressed by their employees, business leaders are considering ways of incorporating more benevolence into managerial practices. Nevertheless, ‘benevolence’—care and concern for the well-being of others—has not yet been studied in an organizational profit-focused context. In this paper, we seek to investigate the emergence and practice of benevolence with an eye on profit and performance. We begin by investigating the main ethical approaches to benevolence—virtue ethical, utilitarian, and deontological. Then, based on an empirical study, we identify two distinct types of benevolence. On the one hand, formal benevolence is defined and monitored by the organizational processes and actions of leaders; it is understood by all concerned to be bounded by organizational performance. On the other hand, informal benevolence exists at the margin of these processes, in interpersonal and discretionary relationships. We set out to analyze these two types of benevolence and the complementarity between them. We also discuss to what extent they can be managed, teasing out some implications for managers and some potential avenues for further research.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

I—On Benevolence.Nomy Arpaly - 2018 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 92 (1):207-223.
II—Kantian Benevolence.Erasmus Mayr - 2018 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 92 (1):225-245.
Extensive Benevolence.John P. Reeder - 1998 - Journal of Religious Ethics 26 (1):47-70.
Extensive Benevolence.John P. Reeder Jr - 1998 - Journal of Religious Ethics 26 (1):47 - 70.
Morality and Justice as Restricted Benevolence.Scott David Gelfand - 1997 - Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park
Reconsidering Ren as Virtue and Benevolence.George Rudebusch - 2013 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (3-4):456-472.
Law as a Promoter of Benevolence.Yuval Livnat - 2002 - Dissertation, Columbia University


Added to PP

17 (#765,400)

6 months
3 (#550,572)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.Jeremy Bentham - 1780 - New York: Dover Publications. Edited by J. H. Burns & H. L. A. Hart.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Summa Theologica.Thomasn D. Aquinas - 1273 - Hayes Barton Press. Edited by Steven M. Cahn.

View all 52 references / Add more references