Business ethics: Restrictive or empowering? [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 14 (6):445 - 464 (1995)
  Copy   BIBTEX


There is a tendency in the business ethics literature to think of ethics in restrictive terms: what one should not do, and how to control this. Drawing on Lawrence Kohlberg''s theory of moral development, the paper focuses on, and draws attention to, another more positive aspect of ethics: the capacity of ethics to inspire and empower individuals, as well as groups. To understand and facilitate such empowerment, it is argued that it is necessary to move beyond Kohlberg''s justice reasoning so as to appreciate the value and importance of feeling and care. Accordingly, we draw upon case study material to review the meaning of Kohlberg''s higher stages — 5, 6 and 7 — to question the meaning of ethical reasoning. With such deeper understanding of particular ethical codes or practices, it is thought that members of organisations may come closer to thespirit, as opposed to the letter, of ethical conduct in organisations. This, we argue, is consistent with the degree of trust and integrity demanded by leaner, post-bureaucratic ways of organizing and conducting business as well as being personally beneficial to the people involved.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,802

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

Professional ethics and the culture of trust.Andrew Brien - 1998 - Journal of Business Ethics 17 (4):391 - 409.
Globalization and the Ethics of Business.John R. Boatright - 2000 - Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (1):1-6.
Business ethics.Damian Grace - 1995 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Stephen Cohen.


Added to PP

34 (#369,127)

6 months
2 (#323,023)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Moral mazes: the world of corporate managers.Robert Jackall - 1988 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Corporations and Morality.Thomas Donaldson - 1982 - Journal of Business Ethics 1 (3):251-253.

View all 22 references / Add more references