In the first part of the paper, factual information is given about developments in European business ethics since it started on a more or less institutionalized basis, five or six years ago. In the second part some comments are presented on the meaning of the developments and the possible causes. Attention is given to resemblances and differences between American and European business ethics. In the short last part some suggestions are proposed about tasks business ethics will face in the next (...) decade. (shrink)
Mutual perceptions of ethical behaviour among managers in nine EU-countries were quantatively measured and related to perceptions concerning "ease of cooperation". A strong positive correlation obtains: the more ethical a country is perceived to be, the higher it is valued as an international business partner. Germany, however, is a typical exception to this rule: German managers are perceived as the most ethical, but are considered relatively difficult to cooperate with.
In this paper I try to enlarge the scope of the questions commonly treated in business ethics. I first argue that not motives but action structures should form the basis of our analytical endeavours. I then distinguish three basic structures in human action: self-directed, other-including and other-directed actions. These structures, when linked with the concepts of interests and legitimate claims or rights, lead to a taxonomy of moral behaviour in business that I describe as, respectively, transactional, recognitional and participatory ethics, (...) three distinct realms of moral behaviour, each characterized by a specific set of moral principles and a special relation between moral agents. My contention is that, up to now, analysis in business ethics has largely been focused on issues in the field of recognitional ethics. The discipline itself as well as ethical practices in business may greatly profit by paying explicit attention to market morality and transactional ethics as well as to the non-enforceable we-alliances of a participatory ethics, increasingly possible and needed in present-day civil society. (shrink)
Business ethics in Westenr and Northern Europe has acquired a certain momentum during the last fifteen years, both as an academic discipline and as a point of reference in business policies. The article reports about developments in academia in various countries, and the founding of national and Europe-wide networks and organizations bringing together representatives from business as well as from universities. It presents sources of information on the state of affairs, and proposes some parameters by which the national varieties of (...) posssible alliances between ethical thinking and business policies can be depicted more adequately. The thesis of the report is that, in order to be operational, business ethics in Western and Northern Europe has to become part of the total configuration of economic, historical and ideological components that shape the social fabric on a national level. (shrink)
Business ethics has gradually acquired a stable status, both as an academic discipline and as a practice. Stakeholdership is recognised as a guiding concept, business has widely accepted that it has a license to operate to win from society at large, and operational instruments such as codes of ethics and forms of ethical auditing and accounting take shape more and more. Yet lacunae remain. Three are mentioned explicitly. Business ethics has to improve its relations with business law, the concept of (...) competition deserves much more ethical attention than it has received up to now, and the shifting relations between the market, governmental agencies and civil society require the elaboration of an institutional business ethics. (shrink)
As ethical consultancy to business develops what are its principles, its methods and its possible pitfalls? The author is Professor of Business Ethics at the Netherlands School of Business, Nijenrode, and Chairman of the European Business Ethics Network.
What are the responsibilities of a business towards the city in which it operates? The Professor of Business Ethics at Nijenrode University, the Netherlands Business School suggests three practical ways of identifying them. This article is the substance of a paper which he delivered as Chairman of the European Business Ethics Network at its 1992 Conference in Paris.