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Ethics for Business: The Contribution of Discourse Ethics and Critical Realism

Mingers, John (2008) Ethics for Business: The Contribution of Discourse Ethics and Critical Realism. In: International Association for Critical Realism, 11-13 July 2008, King's College, London. (KAR id:13131)


Until fairly recently, businesses and corporations could argue that their only real commitments were to maximize the return to their shareholders whilst staying within the law within their local nation states. However, the world has changed significantly during the last ten years and now I think it fair to claim that most major corporations recognize that they have significant responsibility to local and global societies beyond simply making profit.

All this means that there is now an increasing concern with the question of how corporations, and their employees, ought to behave, and this leads us to consider ethics as the appropriate theoretical and philosophical domain.

I will bring into the debate two relatively recent approaches to ethics, Jürgen Habermas’s discourse ethics (stemming from his critical theory) and the critical realist approach of Bhaskar. These are interesting for several reasons: they both draw on traditional ethical theories, although different ones; they bring in new innovations of practical relevance; and they both share an over-arching critical perspective. The aim is to compare and contrast these with the traditional approaches to generate a potential ethical framework for business ethics.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Critical Realism, Discourse Ethics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Analytics, Operations and Systems
Depositing User: John Mingers
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2009 14:19 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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