Business ethics — a developmental perspective: The evolution of the free and mature corporation [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 12 (9):665 - 675 (1993)
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Ethics in Business organizations is a multidimensional process involving decision-making, leadership and institution building. The relatively simpler ethics of day-to-day decisions has to be reflected upon in the context of corporate desire for continuity, embedded in the values of a progressive society. At the operating level, the multivalence of decision situations is emphasized in place of the simple good — bad or cost — benefit dichotomies. A decision tree framework is presented to reflect the richness of the decisions. At the corporate level, the concept of responsive strategy as a synthesis of vision, power, and responsibility is proposed. In this, the crucial role of leaders cannot be over-emphasized. Finally, at the societal level, the evolution of capitalism and its corporate forms is seen as a milestone in people''s search for enlightened ways to achieve refined ends. As more businesses assert their rightful roles in society, progressive institutional forms more in tune with the values of the twenty-first century should emerge.



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