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Matthew Sinnicks
University of Southampton
  1. “We Ought to Eat in Order to Work, Not Vice Versa”: MacIntyre, Practices, and the Best Work for Humankind.Matthew Sinnicks - 2021 - Journal of Business Ethics 174 (2):263-274.
    This paper draws a distinction between ‘right MacIntyreans’ who are relatively optimistic that MacIntyre’s vision of ethics can be realised in capitalist society, and ‘left MacIntyreans’ who are sceptical about this possibility, and aims to show that the ‘left MacIntyrean’ position is a promising perspective available to business ethicists. It does so by arguing for a distinction between ‘community-focused’ practices and ‘excellence-focused’ practices. The latter concept fulfils the promise of practices to provide us with an understanding of the best work (...)
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  2. Moral Education at Work: On the Scope of MacIntyre’s Concept of a Practice.Matthew Sinnicks - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 159 (1):105-118.
    This paper seeks to show how MacIntyre’s concept of a practice can survive a series of ‘scope problems’ which threaten to render the concept inapplicable to business ethics. I begin by outlining MacIntyre’s concept of a practice before arguing that, despite an asymmetry between productive and non-productive practices, the elasticity of the concept of a practice allows us to accommodate productive and profitable activities. This elasticity of practices allows us to sidestep the problem of adjudicating between practitioners and non-practitioners as (...)
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  3. Business Ethics from the Standpoint of Redemption: Adorno on the Possibility of Good Work.Craig Reeves & Matthew Sinnicks - 2021 - Business Ethics Quarterly 31 (4):500-523.
    Given his view that the modern world is ‘radically evil’, Adorno is an unlikely contributor to business ethics. Despite this, we argue that his work has a number of provocative implications for the field that warrant wider attention. Adorno regards our social world as damaged, unfree, and false and we draw on this critique to outline why the achievement of good work is so rare in contemporary society, focusing in particular on the ethical demands of roles and the ideological nature (...)
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  4.  74
    It’s a Three-Ring Circus: How Morally Educative Practices Are Undermined by Institutions.Ron Beadle & Matthew Sinnicks - forthcoming - Business Ethics Quarterly:1-27.
    Since the publication of Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue in 1981, tensions inherent to the relationship between morally educative practices and the institutions that house them have been widely noted. We propose a taxonomy of the ways in which the pursuit of external goods by institutions undermines the pursuit of the internal goods of practices. These comprise substitution, where the institution replaces the pursuit of one type of good by another; frustration, where opportunities for practitioners to discover goods or develop new (...)
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  5. Leadership After Virtue: MacIntyre’s Critique of Management Reconsidered.Matthew Sinnicks - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 147 (4):735-746.
    MacIntyre argues that management embodies emotivism, and thus is inherently amoral and manipulative. His claim that management is necessarily Weberian is, at best, outdated, and the notion that management aims to be neutral and value free is incorrect. However, new forms of management, and in particular the increased emphasis on leadership which emerged after MacIntyre’s critique was published, tend to support his central charge. Indeed, charismatic and transformational forms of leadership seem to embody emotivism to a greater degree than do (...)
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  6. Quaker Business Ethics as MacIntyrean Tradition.Nicholas Burton & Matthew Sinnicks - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 176 (3):507-518.
    This paper argues that Quaker business ethics can be understood as a MacIntyrean tradition. To do so, it draws on three key MacIntyrean concepts: community, compartmentalisation, and the critique of management. The emphasis in Quaker business ethics on finding unity, as well as the emphasis that Quaker businesses have placed on serving their local areas, accords with MacIntyre’s claim that small-scale community is essential to human flourishing. The emphasis on integrity in Quaker business ethics means practitioners are well-placed to resist (...)
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  7. On the Analogy Between Business and Sport: Towards an Aristotelian Response to The Market Failures Approach to Business Ethics.Matthew Sinnicks - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 177 (1):49-61.
    This paper explores the notion that business calls for an adversarial ethic, akin to that of sport. On this view, because of their competitive structure, both sport and business call for behaviours that are contrary to ‘ordinary morality’, and yet are ultimately justified because of the goods they facilitate. I develop three objections to this analogy. Firstly, there is an important qualitative difference between harms risked voluntarily and harms risked involuntarily. Secondly, the goods achieved by adversarial relationships in sport go (...)
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  8. Practices, Governance, and Politics: Applying MacIntyre’s Ethics to Business.Matthew Sinnicks - 2014 - Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (2):229-249.
    This paper argues that attempts to apply Alasdair MacIntyre’s positive moral theory to business ethics are problematic, due to the cognitive closure of MacIntyre’s concept of a practice. I begin by outlining the notion of a practice, before turning to Moore’s attempt to provide a MacIntyrean account of corporate governance. I argue that Moore’s attempt is mismatched with MacIntyre’s account of moral education. Because the notion of practices resists general application I go on to argue that a negative application, which (...)
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  9. The Just World Fallacy as a Challenge to the Business-As-Community Thesis.Matthew Sinnicks - 2020 - Business and Society 59 (6):1269-1292.
    The notion that business organizations are akin to Aristotelian political communities has been a central feature of research into virtue ethics in business. In this article, I begin by outlining this “community thesis” and go on to argue that psychological research into the “just world fallacy” presents it with a significant challenge. The just world fallacy undermines our ability to implement an Aristotelian conception of justice, to each as he or she is due, and imperils the relational equality required for (...)
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  10. Needs, Creativity, and Care: Adorno and the Future of Work.Craig Reeves & Matthew Sinnicks - 2023 - Organization 30 (5):851–872.
    This paper attempts to show how Adorno’s thought can illuminate our reflections on the future of work. It does so by situating Adorno’s conception of genuine activity in relation to his negativist critical epistemology and his subtle account of the distinction between true and false needs. What emerges is an understanding of work that can guide our aspirations for the future of work, and one we illustrate via discussions of creative work and care work. These are types of work which (...)
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  11. In Defence Of Wish Lists: Business Ethics, Professional Ethics, and Ordinary Morality.Matthew Sinnicks - 2023 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 42 (1):79-107.
    Business ethics is often understood as a variety of professional ethics, and thus distinct from ordinary morality in an important way. This article seeks to challenge two ways of defending this claim: first, from the nature of business practice, and second, from the contribution of business. The former argument fails because it undermines our ability to rule out a professional-ethics approach to a number of disreputable practices. The latter argument fails because the contribution of business is extrinsic to business in (...)
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  12.  25
    Practices, Governance, and Politics in advance.Matthew Sinnicks - 2014 - Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (2):229-249.
    This paper argues that attempts to apply Alasdair MacIntyre’s positive moral theory to business ethics are problematic, due to the cognitive closure of MacIntyre’s concept of a practice. I begin by outlining the notion of a practice, before turning to Moore’s attempt to provide a MacIntyrean account of corporate governance. I argue that Moore’s attempt is mismatched with MacIntyre’s account of moral education. Because the notion of practices resists general application I go on to argue that a negative application, which (...)
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  13. Totally Administered Heteronomy: Adorno on Work, Leisure, and Politics in the Age of Digital Capitalism.Craig Reeves & Matthew Sinnicks - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics.
    This paper aims to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of Adorno’s thought for business ethicists working in the critical tradition by showing how his critique of modern social life anticipated, and ofers continuing illumination of, recent technological transformations of capitalism. It develops and extrapolates Adorno’s thought regarding three central spheres of modern society, which have seen radical changes in light of recent technological developments: work, in which employee monitoring has become ever more sophisticated and intrusive; leisure consumption, in which the algorithmic (...)
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  14. Exploring the vulnerability of practice-like activities: an ethnographic perspective.Yemisi Bolade-Ogunfodun, Matthew Sinnicks, Kleio Akrivou & German Scalzo - 2022 - Frontiers in Sociology 7.
    Introduction: This paper explores the vulnerability of practice-like activities to institutional domination. Methods: This paper oers an ethnographic case study of a UK-based engineering company in the aftermath of its acquisition, focusing in particular on its R&D unit. Results: The Lab struggled to maintain its practice-based work in an institutional environment that emphasized the pursuit of external goods. Discussion: We use this case to develop two arguments. Firstly, we illustrate the concept of “practice-like” activities and explore their vulnerability to institutional (...)
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  15.  45
    "Be Not Conformed to this World”: MacIntyre’s Critique of Modernity and Amish Business Ethics.Sunny Jeong, Matthew Sinnicks, Nicholas Burton & Mai Chi Vu - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-33.
    This paper draws on MacIntyre’s ethical thought to illuminate a hitherto underexplored religious context for business ethics, that of the Amish. It draws on an empirical study of Amish settlements in Holmes County, Ohio, and aims to deepen our understanding of Amish business ethics by bringing it into contact with an ethical theory that has had a signifcant impact within business ethics, that of Alasdair MacIntyre. It also aims to extend MacIntyrean thought by drawing on his neglected critique of modernity (...)
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  16. MacIntyre and Business Ethics.Matthew Sinnicks - 2017 - In Alex Michalos and Debora Poff (ed.), Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. Springer. pp. 1278-1282.
    Entry on MacIntyre and Business Ethics forthcoming in Poff, D. C. & Michalos, A. C. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. Springer.
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  17. Work.Matthew Sinnicks & Craig Reeves - 2023 - In Mortimer Sellars & Stephan Kirste (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Springer.
    Entry on Work in M. N. S. Sellars & S. Kirste (Eds.), The Springer Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Springer.
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  18. Mastery of One’s Domain Is Not the Essence of Management.Matthew Sinnicks - 2014 - Business Ethics Journal Review:8-14.
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  19. Adorno’s Critique of Work in Market Society.Craig Reeves & Matthew Sinnicks - 2022 - Business Ethics Journal Review 10 (1):1-7.
    Jaakko Nevasto has offered a number of thoughtful criticisms of our attempt to show that Adorno’s work can fruitfully be brought to bear on topics in business ethics. After welcoming his constructive clarifications, we attempt to defuse Nevasto’s main objections and defend our application of Adorno, focusing in particular on the topics of moral epistemology, needs, and the possibility of genuine activity – and thus good work – within capitalist society.
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  20. Equal pay as a precondition of justice?Daniel Pointon & Matthew Sinnicks - 2021 - In A. Örtenblad (ed.), Debating Equal Pay for All: Economy, Practicability and Ethics. Palgrave macmillan. pp. 255-266.
    Equality is typically presumed to be an end of justice; however, in this chapter, we argue that it is better understood as a condition of justice. Our argument draws on the Just World Fallacy, the phenomenon of people mistakenly believing fortuitous patterns of reward or harm to be reflective of justice. This phenomenon can undermine relationships of equality even where differences in reward or harm are ostensibly deserved. If everyone received equal pay, then the propensity for people to defer to (...)
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  21. Morality, Ethics, and Critical HRD.Matthew Sinnicks - 2023 - In Joshua Collins & Jamie Callahan (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Human Resource Development. Palgrave macmillan. pp. 53-66.
    The purpose of this chapter is to explore some of the ethical contours of CHRD. In order to do so, it will introduce the theoretical bases which inform a critical understanding of ethics and of the ways in which morality can be leveraged to the advantage of some and the disadvantage of others. The discussion that follows will comprise three subsections Firstly, the section “What is morality and ethics?” draws on the work of Williams and MacIntyre to outline a distinction (...)
     
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  22. Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative, by Alasdair MacIntyre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 332 pp. ISBN: 978-1107176454. [REVIEW]Matthew Sinnicks - 2018 - Business Ethics Quarterly 28 (1):106-109.
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  23. Virtue and Economy: Essays on Morality and Markets, edited by Andrius Bielskis and Kelvin Knight. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015. 264 pp. ISBN: 978-1472412560. [REVIEW]Matthew Sinnicks - 2016 - Business Ethics Quarterly 26 (2):269-272.
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