Vulnerable Values Argument for the Professionalization of Business Management

Business and Professional Ethics Journal 31 (1):51-77 (2012)
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Abstract

Market events of the past few years have resurrected long unheeded calls for the professionalization of the occupation of business manager, not in terms of increased technical proficiency, but in terms of a renewed vigor to shape the practice of management and the education of those who will fill its ranks along the lines of the “ideal of service” which characterizes socially established professions like law and medicine. In this paper I argue that the push to professionalize business management can be grounded in an ISCT (Integrative Social Contracts Theory) treatment of the “vulnerable values” argument which itself has served as a source for the professionalization of medicine and law. Additionally, I offer a sketch of an argument that once business managers are considered to be members of a profession, we can begin to develop an account of “business malpractice” which would, when it occurs, represent an ethical violation of the “publicpledge” that members of all professions make to serve the broader good of society

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