Teaching Business Ethics during the Global Economic Crisis: A Post-Foundational Approach

Philosophy of Management 11 (1):109-114 (2012)
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Abstract

Facing a near-death experience naturally pushes people to re-examine their basic moral values. During the recent global economic melt-down, calls to solve the concomitant ‘moral’ crisis come in from all fronts. The presumption is that we need business ethics courses to teach our business students to learn to take the moral high-road; we need ethics pledges and codes of ethics to teach business students to do the right thing. But in reality, what impact can a business ethics class have on business people in the real world of tough choices and intense competition? It is my contention that if we look at the teaching of business ethics from the traditional Foundational Platonic perspective, we over-promise and under-deliver. By contrast, a Post-Foundational perspective gives us a pragmatic and viable picture of business ethics pedagogy that can make a real difference.

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Steven Gold
University of California at Santa Barbara

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