The Place of Ethics in Business

Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (3):577-601 (1995)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article uses concepts from sociology, history, and philosophy to explore the shifting relationship between moral values and business in the Western world. We examine the historical roots and intellectual underpinnings of two major business-society paradigms in ideal-type terms. In pre-industrial Western society, we argue that business activity was linked to society’s values of morality (the moral unity paradigm}-for good or for ill. With the rise of industrialism, we contend that business was freed from moral constraints by the alleged “invisible hand” of efficient markets (the amoral theory of business). Armed with this understanding of the intellectual history of the moral unity and amoral business-society paradigms, we suggest that some variant of the moral unity paradigm may be recurring in post-industrial society.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,164

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

Ethics and management: A controversial issue. [REVIEW]Josep M. Lozano - 1996 - Journal of Business Ethics 15 (2):227 - 236.
In Search of Instruments. Business and Ethics Halfway.Henk J. L. van Luijk - 2000 - Journal of Business Ethics 27 (1/2):3 - 8.
Business, ethics and law.Richard McCarty - 1988 - Journal of Business Ethics 7 (11):881 - 889.
Millennial Reservations.Lisa H. Newton - 2000 - Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (1):291-303.
Globalization and the Ethics of Business.John R. Boatright - 2000 - Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (1):1-6.


Added to PP

23 (#641,102)

6 months
7 (#339,156)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?