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Matthew Sinnicks
University of Reading
  1. “We Ought to Eat in Order to Work, Not Vice Versa”: MacIntyre, Practices, and the Best Work for Humankind.Matthew Sinnicks - 2021 - Journal of Business Ethics 174 (2):263-274.
    This paper draws a distinction between ‘right MacIntyreans’ who are relatively optimistic that MacIntyre’s vision of ethics can be realised in capitalist society, and ‘left MacIntyreans’ who are sceptical about this possibility, and aims to show that the ‘left MacIntyrean’ position is a promising perspective available to business ethicists. It does so by arguing for a distinction between ‘community-focused’ practices and ‘excellence-focused’ practices. The latter concept fulfils the promise of practices to provide us with an understanding of the best work (...)
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  2. Moral Education at Work: On the Scope of MacIntyre’s Concept of a Practice.Matthew Sinnicks - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 159 (1):105-118.
    This paper seeks to show how MacIntyre’s concept of a practice can survive a series of ‘scope problems’ which threaten to render the concept inapplicable to business ethics. I begin by outlining MacIntyre’s concept of a practice before arguing that, despite an asymmetry between productive and non-productive practices, the elasticity of the concept of a practice allows us to accommodate productive and profitable activities. This elasticity of practices allows us to sidestep the problem of adjudicating between practitioners and non-practitioners as (...)
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  3. Business Ethics From the Standpoint of Redemption: Adorno on the Possibility of Good Work.Craig Reeves & Matthew Sinnicks - 2021 - Business Ethics Quarterly 31 (4):500-523.
    Given his view that the modern world is ‘radically evil’, Adorno is an unlikely contributor to business ethics. Despite this, we argue that his work has a number of provocative implications for the field that warrant wider attention. Adorno regards our social world as damaged, unfree, and false and we draw on this critique to outline why the achievement of good work is so rare in contemporary society, focusing in particular on the ethical demands of roles and the ideological nature (...)
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  4. The Just World Fallacy as a Challenge to the Business-As-Community Thesis.Matthew Sinnicks - 2020 - Business and Society 59 (6):1269-1292.
    The notion that business organizations are akin to Aristotelian political communities has been a central feature of research into virtue ethics in business. In this article, I begin by outlining this “community thesis” and go on to argue that psychological research into the “just world fallacy” presents it with a significant challenge. The just world fallacy undermines our ability to implement an Aristotelian conception of justice, to each as he or she is due, and imperils the relational equality required for (...)
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  5. Leadership After Virtue: MacIntyre’s Critique of Management Reconsidered.Matthew Sinnicks - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 147 (4):735-746.
    MacIntyre argues that management embodies emotivism, and thus is inherently amoral and manipulative. His claim that management is necessarily Weberian is, at best, outdated, and the notion that management aims to be neutral and value free is incorrect. However, new forms of management, and in particular the increased emphasis on leadership which emerged after MacIntyre’s critique was published, tend to support his central charge. Indeed, charismatic and transformational forms of leadership seem to embody emotivism to a greater degree than do (...)
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  6. Practices, Governance, and Politics: Applying MacIntyre’s Ethics to Business.Matthew Sinnicks - 2014 - Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (2):229-249.
    This paper argues that attempts to apply Alasdair MacIntyre’s positive moral theory to business ethics are problematic, due to the cognitive closure of MacIntyre’s concept of a practice. I begin by outlining the notion of a practice, before turning to Moore’s attempt to provide a MacIntyrean account of corporate governance. I argue that Moore’s attempt is mismatched with MacIntyre’s account of moral education. Because the notion of practices resists general application I go on to argue that a negative application, which (...)
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  7. Quaker Business Ethics as MacIntyrean Tradition.Nicholas Burton & Matthew Sinnicks - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 176 (3):507-518.
    This paper argues that Quaker business ethics can be understood as a MacIntyrean tradition. To do so, it draws on three key MacIntyrean concepts: community, compartmentalisation, and the critique of management. The emphasis in Quaker business ethics on finding unity, as well as the emphasis that Quaker businesses have placed on serving their local areas, accords with MacIntyre’s claim that small-scale community is essential to human flourishing. The emphasis on integrity in Quaker business ethics means practitioners are well-placed to resist (...)
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  8.  16
    Practices, Governance, and Politics in Advance.Matthew Sinnicks - 2014 - Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (2):229-249.
    This paper argues that attempts to apply Alasdair MacIntyre’s positive moral theory to business ethics are problematic, due to the cognitive closure of MacIntyre’s concept of a practice. I begin by outlining the notion of a practice, before turning to Moore’s attempt to provide a MacIntyrean account of corporate governance. I argue that Moore’s attempt is mismatched with MacIntyre’s account of moral education. Because the notion of practices resists general application I go on to argue that a negative application, which (...)
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  9. MacIntyre and Business Ethics.Matthew Sinnicks - forthcoming - In Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics.
    Entry on MacIntyre and Business Ethics forthcoming in Poff, D. C. & Michalos, A. C. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. Springer.
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  10. In Defence Of Wish Lists: Business Ethics, Professional Ethics, and Ordinary Morality.Matthew Sinnicks - forthcoming - Business and Professional Ethics Journal.
    Business ethics is often understood as a variety of professional ethics, and thus distinct from ordinary morality in an important way. This article seeks to challenge two ways of defending this claim: first, from the nature of business practice, and second, from the contribution of business. The former argument fails because it undermines our ability to rule out a professional-ethics approach to a number of disreputable practices. The latter argument fails because the contribution of business is extrinsic to business in (...)
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  11.  46
    Adorno’s Critique of Work in Market Society.Craig Reeves & Matthew Sinnicks - 2022 - Business Ethics Journal Review 10 (1):1-7.
    Jaakko Nevasto has offered a number of thoughtful criticisms of our attempt to show that Adorno’s work can fruitfully be brought to bear on topics in business ethics. After welcoming his constructive clarifications, we attempt to defuse Nevasto’s main objections and defend our application of Adorno, focusing in particular on the topics of moral epistemology, needs, and the possibility of genuine activity – and thus good work – within capitalist society.
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  12.  79
    Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative, by Alasdair MacIntyre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 332 Pp. ISBN: 978-1107176454. [REVIEW]Matthew Sinnicks - 2018 - Business Ethics Quarterly 28 (1):106-109.
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  13. On the Analogy Between Business and Sport: Towards an Aristotelian Response to The Market Failures Approach to Business Ethics.Matthew Sinnicks - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 177 (1):49-61.
    This paper explores the notion that business calls for an adversarial ethic, akin to that of sport. On this view, because of their competitive structure, both sport and business call for behaviours that are contrary to ‘ordinary morality’, and yet are ultimately justified because of the goods they facilitate. I develop three objections to this analogy. Firstly, there is an important qualitative difference between harms risked voluntarily and harms risked involuntarily. Secondly, the goods achieved by adversarial relationships in sport go (...)
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  14.  51
    Equal Pay as a Precondition of Justice?Daniel Pointon & Matthew Sinnicks - 2021 - In A. Örtenblad (ed.), Debating Equal Pay for All: Economy, Practicability and Ethics. Palgrave macmillan. pp. 255-266.
    Equality is typically presumed to be an end of justice; however, in this chapter, we argue that it is better understood as a condition of justice. Our argument draws on the Just World Fallacy, the phenomenon of people mistakenly believing fortuitous patterns of reward or harm to be reflective of justice. This phenomenon can undermine relationships of equality even where differences in reward or harm are ostensibly deserved. If everyone received equal pay, then the propensity for people to defer to (...)
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  15.  36
    Mastery of One’s Domain Is Not the Essence of Management.Matthew Sinnicks - 2014 - Business Ethics Journal Review:8-14.
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  16.  62
    Virtue and Economy: Essays on Morality and Markets, Edited by Andrius Bielskis and Kelvin Knight. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015. 264 Pp. ISBN: 978-1472412560. [REVIEW]Matthew Sinnicks - 2016 - Business Ethics Quarterly 26 (2):269-272.
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