Journal of Human Values 1 (2):191-203 (1995)

This paper addresses some important questions related to ethical and human values that stem from the transition of Eastern European businesses to a market economy. While such a change has the potential for a tremendous redistribution of power and benefits in the societies involved, it also has its detrimental effects in terms of loss of wages, decline in security of life and a reduced standard of living for a significant number of people. The paper explores the problems and issues relating to former state-owned firms and newly created companies under three broad headings: the manufacture and distribution of products; management and corporate governance; and rights, responsibilities and problems of workers. The author concludes by saying that while the transition to a market economy has broad support throughout Eastern Europe, it does not represent a painless solution. Moreover, it allows for the emergence of a range of moral problems. This complexity involved in addressing ethical issues lends itself to either of the two extreme tendencies-paralysis or creativity. The stance which Eastern Europeans take towards these problems will largely depend upon the 'moral resources' which they are able to muster up in addressing these issues.
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DOI 10.1177/097168589500100204
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