Processes and consequences in business ethicaldilemmas: The oil industry and climate change [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 41 (3):251-266 (2002)
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Abstract

We present a model of rational behavior by which we characterize business ethical dilemmas as trade-offs between processes and consequences. As an illustration, we formulate the oil industry's business ethical dilemma as a trade-off between a socially detrimental process (emitting greenhouse gases, hence inducing a risk of climate change) and a self-interested consequence (profits). The proposed framework allows us to specify two types of strategies, differing by whether priority is given to the consequences or to the processes. We analyze and illustrate these strategies at both the behavioral and the discursive levels. In particular, communication strategies raise questions about good faith in business argumentation, in the sense that business discourse may or may not be consistent with actual assumptions and/or actual behaviors. We conclude on possible drivers of more ethical business behavior.

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References found in this work

A Companion to Ethics.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1991 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Consequentialism and its critics.Samuel Scheffler - 1989 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 179 (1):129-130.
Economic rationality and ethical behaviour: Ethical business between venality and sacrifice.Marc Le Menestrel - 2002 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 11 (2):157–166.
Economic rationality and ethical behaviour: ethical business between venality and sacrifice.Marc Le Menestrel - 2002 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 11 (2):157-166.

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