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Reflections on Teaching of Business Ethics*

  • Amitai Etzioni (a1)

There is a moral dimension in all business decisions. When planning a corporate takeover, which substance to use for a product, whether to hire temps or full-time workers, or where to invest, all reflect values and hence moral considerations. It is not enough to change people, we must change the structure. Within the corporate structure it is important to have special divisions dedicated to the implementation of ethics such as internal audit committees. The same might be said about business schools; to enhance ethicality, we need both that all faculty become more committed to moral education and special departments dedicated to it. Also the neo-classsical, deontological paradigm needs to be combined with deontological, social paradigms. The challenge that one cannot teach ethics because it's unclear whose values we are going to teach, can be dealt with by teaching values we all share, and knowledge and respect for those that divide us.

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* The author is indebted to Norman Bowie for excellent editorial suggestions and to Cathy Milton for research assistance.

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Business Ethics Quarterly
  • ISSN: 1052-150X
  • EISSN: 2153-3326
  • URL: /core/journals/business-ethics-quarterly
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