Updated: Apr 13
Three assumptions loom large in the science and practice of business ethics: Ethics in organization is about a) formal social control, b) inhibiting misconduct, and c) individual's attributes and choices.
In the short thought piece I authored for the W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics* (available for download below) I argue that these assumptions are too narrow. Building on major tenets in the human sciences, I propose that the science and practice of business ethics has much to gain from turning its attention to the following three aspects of ethical life in organizations:
Informal ethics: Ethics in an organization is significantly shaped through informal social control.
Enactive ethics: Employees incorporate ethics into their professional identity through ethical enactment (i.e., active participation in the organization’s ethical life).
Social ethics: Organizational ethics is profoundly social.
I look forward to exploring these opportunities in collaboration with interested researchers and practitioners. Please contact me with any ideas or questions.
*) Disclosure: I serve as a Member of The Board of Advisors for the W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics.