Learning from Greek Philosophers: The Foundations and Structural Conditions of Ethical Training in Business Schools

Journal of Business Ethics 153 (1):231-243 (2018)
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Abstract

There is an extensive body of work that has previously examined the teaching of ethics in business schools whereby it is hoped that the values and behaviours of students might be provoked to show positive and enduring change. Rather than dealing with the content issues of particular business ethics courses per se, this article explores the philosophical foundations and the structural conditions for developing ethical training programs in business schools. It is informed by historical analysis, specifically, an examination of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophies that inspires virtue ethics, and together provides four conditions for consideration: respect for law, dialectics, imitation and deliberation. We outline the necessary structural conditions for implementing these requirements as well as suggesting the necessary pedagogical protocol applicable to all courses. It is argued that reference to our two ancient Greek philosophers provide many valuable and insightful lessons for the implementation of ethical training today including choice of theoretical content and the approach towards learning. Further, the enactment of a pedagogical protocol requires a policy of recruiting and managing business school teachers-instructors that takes into account, and consciously encourages, intellectual, relational and spiritual pedagogical qualities.

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Christine Lemaitre
Aix-Marseille University

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Writing and difference.Jacques Derrida - 1978 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Republic.Paul Plato & Shorey - 2000 - ePenguin. Edited by Cynthia Johnson, Holly Davidson Lewis & Benjamin Jowett.

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