The Case Against Business Ethics Education : A Study in Bad Arguments

TitleThe Case Against Business Ethics Education : A Study in Bad Arguments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHooker, J
JournalJournal of Business Ethics Education
Volume1
Issue1
Pagination75-88
PublisherSenate Hall Academic Publishing
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number2044-4559
Keywordsbusiness , BUSINESS ethics , ECONOMICS
AbstractSeveral popular arguments against teaching business ethics are examined: a) the ethical duty of business people is to maximize profit within the law, whence the irrelevance of ethics courses (the Milton Friedman argument); b) business people respond to economic and legal incentives, not to ethical sentiments, which means that teaching ethics will have no effect; c) one cannot study ethics in any meaningful sense anyway, because it is a matter of personal preference and is insusceptible to rational treatment; d) moral character is formed early in childhood, not while sitting in ethics class; and e) business students see no motivation to study ethics and will not take it seriously. The mistakes and confusion that underlie these arguments are exposed.
URLhttp://ba.gsia.cmu.edu/jnh/paper81.pdf
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