Teaching Business Ethics: The Role of Ethics in Business and in Business Education

TitleTeaching Business Ethics: The Role of Ethics in Business and in Business Education
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsCragg, W
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Pagination231 - 245
Date Published02/1997
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number0167-4544
AbstractThe paper begins with an examination of traditional attitudes towards business ethics, and the author suggests that a principal function of ethics is to facilitate cooperation. Despite the emphasis on competition in modern market economies, business like all other forms of social activity is possible only where people are prepared to respect rules in the absence of which cooperation is rendered difficult or impossible. These rules only make up one dimension of ethics. A second has to do with what we see and how we see it; a third with who we are or what can be described as the ethics of being. Of these three dimensions, the first and the third have been most carefully explored by philosophers and are most frequently the focus of attention when teaching business ethics is being discussed. The author argues that this focus is unfortunate in as much as it is the second dimension which falls most naturally into the ambit of modern secular educational institutions. It is here that moral education is most obviously unavoidable, and most clearly justifiable in modern secular teaching environments. He concludes by describing the importance of this second dimension for the modern world of business.
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