The ethics of business: Moving beyond legalism

Ethics and Behavior 6 (1):1 – 16 (1996)
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The economist Milton Friedman argued that business has only one ethical responsibility: Business has a responsibility to employ all available legal means to increase corporate profits owed to stockholders (Friedman, 1993). In this article, I explore why business students find this argument so attractive. I then argue that, as an account of business ethics, Friedman's legalism is both theoretically and practically unsound. I close with some suggestions as to what would constitute a truly ethical understanding of business practice.



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Daryl Koehn
DePaul University

References found in this work

Business Ethics and Stakeholder Analysis.Kenneth E. Goodpaster - 1991 - Business Ethics Quarterly 1 (1):53-73.
Nicomachean Ethics.Martin Aristotle & Ostwald - 1911 - New York: Hackett Publishing Company. Edited by C. C. W. Taylor.
Plato Republic.G. H. Plato & Wells - 1945 - New York: Basic Books (AZ). Edited by Allan Bloom & Adam Kirsch.
The moral foundations of professional ethics.Alan H. Goldman (ed.) - 1980 - Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Crito. Plato - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring ethics: an introductory anthology. New York: Oxford University Press.

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