Constructing Good Decisions in Ethically Charged Situations: The Role of Dramatic Rehearsal

Journal of Business Ethics 70 (4):375-390 (2007)
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Abstract

This paper develops a pragmatist approach to ethical business decision-making. It draws primarily on the work of John Dewey and applies his deliberative approach to ethics to the challenges of business practitioners. In particular the paper proposes the value of Dewey’s concept of dramatic rehearsal in emphasizing the task of “constructing the good” in ethical decision-making. The contribution of the paper is, first, to build on recent foundational work to bring American pragmatism into the mainstream business ethics literature; second, to offer a perspective that is accessible to practitioners and integrates ethics into their daily tasks; and third, to identify a number of related research imperatives – in particular the importance of focusing efforts on gaining a deeper understanding of the deliberative process itself.

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