Business Ethics for a Material World: An Ecological Approach to Object Stewardship

Cambridge University Press (2017)
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Abstract

Increasingly, conscientious consumers and green marketers are recognizing that material things, not firms, must be made responsible. Even so, many scholars in ethics, sustainability, and governance focus on people and organizations, ignoring the flows of things. In this book, Ryan Burg argues that material things are fundamental features of moral life, serving as both valuable instruments and guides for responsibility. Unless care is taken for these non-living entities, living things cannot be protected. Viewing the global economy as a network of material transfers, Burg argues that to facilitate object care, professionals must act as stewards. By tracing the origins and disposal of workplace objects through this material network, businesses and employees can discover the outcomes for which they are responsible, and managers can align ethics, sustainability and governance with a truly global formulation of responsibility.

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