Hosmer and the

Business Ethics Quarterly 6 (3):373-383 (1996)
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Abstract

In his “Why be Moral? A Different Rationale for Managers,” , La Rue Tone Hosmer argues that managers should be moral because “acting in ways that can be considered to be ‘right’ and ‘just’ and ‘fair’ is absolutely essential to the long-term competitive success of the firm.” According to Hosmer, moral behavior generates trust among stakeholders, which leads to stakeholder commitment, which leads to increased stakeholder effort, which ultimately leads to corporate success. Though we agree with Hosmer’s causal reasoning, we are concerned about an ancient loophole, namely, cases where the mere appearance of morality will generate the same trust, and commitment, and so on, and will thus enable managers to reap the material benefits of morality while nevertheless engaging in immoral practices. We conclude that a virtue ethics perspective will strengthen Hosmer’s model so as to cover such cases

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John Corvino
Wayne State University

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