Ethical theory in business ethics: A critical assessment [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 8 (7):521 - 533 (1989)
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Abstract

How is ethical theory used in contemporary teaching in business ethics? To answer this question, we undertook a survey of twenty-five of the leading business ethics texts. Our purpose was to examine the ways in which normative moral theory is introduced and applied to cases and issues. We focused especially on the authors' views of the conflicts and tensions posed by basic theoretical debates. How can these theories be made useful if fundamental tensions are acknowledged? Our analysis resulted in a typology, presented here, of the ways in which normative theory, and the difficulties within it, are handled in business ethics texts. We conclude that there is a serious lack of clarity about how to apply the theories to cases and a persistent unwillingness to grapple with tensions between theories of ethical reasoning. These deficiencies hamper teaching and ethical decision-making.

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Citations of this work

Business ETHICS/BUSINESS ethics.Linda Klebe Trevino & Gary R. Weaver - 1994 - Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (2):113-128.
The Role of Character in Business Ethics.Edwin M. Hartman - 1998 - Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (3):547-559.
Ethical Theories in Business Ethics: A Critical Review.Domènec Melé - 2024 - Journal of Human Values 30 (1):15-25.

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References found in this work

Business Ethics: A Kantian Perspective.Norman E. Bowie - 1982 - New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.
Corporations and Morality.Thomas Donaldson - 1982 - Journal of Business Ethics 1 (3):251-253.
The ethics of management.LaRue Tone Hosmer - 1987 - Homewood, Ill.: Irwin.
Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach.Thomas Donaldson & Patricia Hogue Werhane (eds.) - 2002 - Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Corporate Strategy and the Search for Ethics.R. Edward Freeman & Daniel R. Gilbert - 1992 - Journal of Business Ethics 11 (7):514-554.

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