What and who is business for? What exactly is work and how can we distinguish it from other activity? Do businesses operate along different ethical lines from individuals?

This clear and accessible text introduces key philosophical concepts and ideas and applies them to fundamental issues in management and organizations. Written for business and management students with no previous knowledge of philosophy, this text will lead readers to question the basic assumptions widely made about business and management.

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Management is packed with case studies and examples which provoke thought and discussion. Coverage includes crucial topics such as business ethics, culture and leadership.

Key features:

Boxed definitions of key concepts; Real life case studies and examples; Questions for Reflection; Further reading

This text is essential reading for any business and management student wanting to think creatively.

Theories of Business Ethics

Theories of business ethics

In the previous chapter we looked at action in general – the ideas of collective action, human freedom and the mitigation of personal responsibility, and the boundaries between acts and their consequences.

This chapter does not aim to replicate the content of the many texts on business ethics. Rather the intention is to focus on the fundamental philosophical theories of goodness that underpin ethical debates.

When you have finished this chapter, you should be able to:

  • identify a model of action that highlights the main emphases of the key ethical theories
  • critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of three key theories of ethics
  • apply theories effectively to typical business dilemmas.

Box 8.1: Three Business Ethics Dilemmas

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