Defending Kant's Ethics in Light of the Modern Business Organization

TitleDefending Kant's Ethics in Light of the Modern Business Organization
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsStroud, SR
JournalTeaching Ethics: The Journal of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum
Date PublishedSpring 2002
PublisherSociety for Ethics Across the Curriculum
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number15444031
Keywordsbusiness , BUSINESS ethics , Case , Case Study Method
AbstractMany case studies in business ethics involve the modern corporation, including its myriad workers, limited knowledge diffusion, and often dysfunctional patterns of communication. Some scholars have argued that modern organizations preclude the efficacy of classical theories of ethics - for instance, four "knowledge conditions" are said to be assumed by all major moral theories in regard to agent knowledge of a decisional moment, time frames, available choices and resources available. All of these conditions are mitigated by the large diffuse structure of many modern organizations. This paper refutes these scholars' dismissal of Kantian ethical theory and its usefulness of organizational irresponsibility. He argues that Kantian theory can help show the orientation of an agent within an organization and the types of ends she should set in regard to complicity in wrongdoing and information that she should be seeking.
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