Sustaining Voices: Applying Giving Voice to Values to Sustainability Issues

Journal of Business Ethics Education 10:211-230 (2013)
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Abstract

We apply an action-oriented approach to business ethics education, Giving Voice to Values (GVV), to the topic of sustainability. The increasingly problematic impact of unsustainable economic activity is demanding actionable responses from business. However, traditional business ethics education has focussed on awareness and decision-making and neglected action-oriented methods. The GVV curriculum offers an applied and process-driven ethics approach thatcomplements more analytical ethics pedagogies. Because of its focus on action and expressing personal values, GVV can be thought of as largely applicable to the micro-level of interpersonal interactions. This paper illustrates GVV’s potential for much broader application by presenting two caselettes spanning the micro-level of workplace refurbishment to the global-level of the mass dumping of electronic waste. Ways of crafting conversations around these sustainability issues are presented and implications of the GVV approach for both the teaching and practice of sustainability ethics are discussed.

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