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Methodologies of Business Ethics Research

The methodologies employed by business ethics scholars are extremely diverse, covering a wide range of theoretical foundations, data collection techniques, and analytical methods. Business ethics research may be characterized by theoretical discussions regarding the application of major ethical theories—utilitarianism, theories of justice and rights, and virtue ethics, for example—to various knotty ethical dilemmas or situations found in business. It may also include empirical exploration of decision-making processes and elements that influence an individual or organization’s decisions or actions, such as personal traits, organizational influences, or the context of the ethical situation. In general, business ethics methodologies can be grouped into two analytical categories: (1) normative and (2) descriptive.

Normative Research

Normative business ethics scholarship focuses on assessing or prescribing behavior related to individuals, organizations, or societies from ...

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