The domain of professional business ethics

Carlisle, Ysanne and Manning, David J. (1996). The domain of professional business ethics. Organization, 3(3) pp. 341–360.



This article attempts to further the discussion of Iain Mangham's (1995) consideration of Alistair MacIntyre's reflections on the moral character of the manager in Vol. 2(2) of this journal. In the same volume, Anthony suggests that, after the denigration of this moral character effected by MacIntyre and his ilk, both professors and practitioners of business management `need new ethics' (Anthony, 1995: 293). Other contributions by Rundles (1995), Goodpaster (1995), Deetz (1995) and Nash (1995) go some way towards satisfying that craving. They have brought us back to earth from the celestial heights of MacIntyre's panoramic vision of the moral malaise he claims afflicts the management world below. Following that lead this down-to-earth article specifically addresses the question: what are the constitutive requirements of a professional code of business conduct comparable with those of other professions? The objective of this exercise is to locate the absolute presuppositions of the moral obligations of business management in a free market economy and to spell out the logical requirements of their practical satisfaction.

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