Kantian Business Ethics: Critical Perspectives

Kantian Business Ethics: Critical Perspectives


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In this original collection of essays, a group of distinguished scholars critically examine the ethical dimensions of business using the Kantian themed business ethics of Norman E. Bowie as a jumping off point. The authors engage Bowie’s influential body of scholarship as well as contemporary themes in business, including topics such as: the normative foundations of capitalism; the applicability of Kantian ethics, virtue ethics, and pragmatism in normative business ethics; meaningful work; managerial ethics; the ethics of high leverage finance capitalism; business ethics and corporate social responsibility; and responsibility for the natural environment. The contributors to this volume include both scholars sympathetic to Bowie’s Kantian business ethics and scholars critical of that perspective.

As one of the foundational figures in the establishment and legitimization of the study of business ethics as a field of scholarship, Bowie casts a long shadow over the field. Over the last thirty years he has applied a distinctive, Kantian approach to the analysis of problems in business ethics and his work has had a substantial impact on a wide range of theory and scholarship in the field. Bowie argues in his work that economic value is not the only value that should inform managers, executives, and policy makers when making both business policy decisions and everyday management decisions. He utilizes a Kantian framework to support the position that additional values – such as human dignity and rational consistency – should inform business practice and influence managerial decision-making. He also shows that business practices that include these additional values are consistent with sound management theory and that such businesses can be financially successful.

This volume of scholarly essays will be of considerable interest to students and scholars working in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and organization studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781004951
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Publication date: 10/12/2012
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Edited by Denis G. Arnold, Surtman Distinguished Scholar in Business Ethics and Associate Professor of Management, Belk College of Business, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, US and Jared D. Harris, Assistant Professor and Senior Fellow, Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, US

Table of Contents



1. Bowie’s Management Ethics: An Alternate View

Richard T. De George

2. Revisiting the Egoism Question in Business

Ronald Duska

3. Bowie’s Ethics: A Pragmatist Perspective

R. Edward Freeman

4. Norman Bowie’s Kingdom of Worldly Satisficers

Patricia H. Werhane

5. Corporate Duties of Virtue: Making (Kantian) Sense of Corporate Social Responsibility

Jeffery Smith

6. Bowie’s Kantian Capitalism, High-Leverage Finance Capitalism and the Great Recession

Richard P. Nielsen

7. Citizens, Kant and Corporate Responsibility for the Environment

Marc A. Cohen and John W. Dienhart

8. Worthy Work and Bowie’s Kantian Theory of Meaningful Work

Joanne B. Ciulla

9. Meaningful Work

Joseph R. DesJardins

10. Should Every Manager Become a Kantian? The Empirical Evidence and Normative Implications of the Kantian Personality in Organizations

Scott J. Reynolds and Carolyn T. Dang

11. A Reply to My Critics

Norman E. Bowie


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