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

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


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.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,075

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The ethical business: challenges and controversies.Kamel Mellahi - 2003 - New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. Edited by Geoffrey Edward Wood.
A framework for teaching business ethics.Alfonso R. Oddo - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (3):293-297.
The Normative Theories of Business Ethics.John Hasnas - 1998 - Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (1):19-42.
Is there “no such thing as business ethics”?Eric H. Beversluis - 1987 - Journal of Business Ethics 6 (2):81 - 88.
Toward a foundational normative method in business ethics.Lester F. Goodchild - 1986 - Journal of Business Ethics 5 (6):485 - 499.
The Course in Business Ethics.George L. Pamental - 1991 - Business Ethics Quarterly 1 (4):385-393.
Management-science and business-ethics.Alan E. Singer & M. S. Singer - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (4):385-395.
A systematic approach to teaching ethics in business.F. Neil Brady - 1999 - Journal of Business Ethics 19 (3):309 - 318.


Added to PP

85 (#198,904)

6 months
7 (#432,182)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

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.

View all 48 citations / Add more citations

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.

View all 13 references / Add more references