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Toward an Ethics of Organizations

  • Robert A. Phillips and Joshua D. Margolis

Abstract:

The organization is importantly different from both the nation-state and the individual and hence needs its own ethical models and theories, distinct from political and moral theory. To develop a case for organizational ethics, this paper advances arguments in three directions. First, it highlights the growing role of organizations and their distinctive attributes. Second, it illuminates the incongruities between organizations and moral and political philosophy. Third, it takes these incongruities, as well as organizations’ distinctive attributes, as a starting point for suggesting an agenda for an ethics of organizations.

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