Handbook of Virtue Ethics in Business and Management

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Handbook of Virtue Ethics in Business and Management

Alejo José G. Sison, Editor-in-Chief, Gregory R. Beabout, Ignacio Ferrero (2017)

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A General Introduction to the Handbook on Virtue Ethics in Business and Management
The objectives of this Handbook are threefold. Above all, it seeks to provide a convenient reference work on the virtue ethics approach to business and management, following both historical and systematic modes of inquiry. In order to do this, however, it first has to identify the major authors and schools of thought as well as their most significant contributions to virtue ethics scholarship. This constitutes the second, subordinate goal. Thirdly, and as a consequence of the above, this work also strives to critically examine the distinctive virtue ethics responses to the global challenges that managers and business organizations face in the twenty-first century.

Among academic philosophers working in the mainstream of the Englishspeaking world, virtue ethics had all but disappeared until the publication of G.E.M. Anscombe’s article, “Modern Moral Philosophy” (Philosophy, 33: 1–19) in 1958. Dominant then in the academe were deontology (Kant) and utilitarianism (Bentham and Mill). Certainly, there was hardly a monolithic position characterizing either one of these schools. Yet Anscombe, nonetheless, found Kant’s core idea of “legislating for oneself” to be quite absurd, because legislation required acknowledging a power superior to one, she argued, and given Kant’s agnosticism, such a recourse to a “supreme law-giver” had become in fact impossible. At the same time, she was equally critical of the utilitarian alternative. She held that ethics entailed thatcertain actions were forbidden in themselves regardless of consequences, such as dropping a bomb on an innocent civilian population just so that their army might capitulate. Nevertheless, Anscombe did not directly endorse the development of virtue ethics, due to what she perceived to be a lack of an “adequate philosophy of psychology.”

The virtue ethics amnesia afflicting moral philosophy in general affected business and management ethics as well. Deontology, which evaluates behavior exclusively in its conformity with universal rules of justice and rights, without reference to context or outcomes may have prevailed in theory, but utilitarianism, which judges action through a cost-benefit analysis, without regard for norms or values has dominated in practice. Anscombe herself had identified many of the difficulties that beset virtue ethics. Firstly, the meaning of virtue in contemporary society was no longer clear. Neither were there satisfactory accounts of basic concepts of moral psychology such as “intention,” “desire,” “motive,” or “action.” Instead, there was widespread disagreement in the meaning and even of the existence of virtue-related notions such as “human nature” and “flourishing.”

Notwithstanding these deficiencies, we still think that virtue ethics is a valid and excellent option for ethics in general and for business ethics in particular, primarily because it integrates the advantages of both deontology and utilitarianism while providing cogent responses to the criticisms or objections arising from each one. Virtue ethics, like deontology, subscribes to universal principles, and, like utilitarianism, it considers overall results. But unlike deontology, virtue ethics pays attention to the particulars of agents (motives, intentions, habits, character, relationships) and actions (circumstances, community), and unlike utilitarianism, it maintains that exceptionless prohibitions do exist. Quite distinctively, virtue ethics establishes a two-way causal relation between what the agent does and who that agent becomes. We believe that these combined features make virtue ethics a more integrated, balanced, and nuanced framework than either deontology or utilitarianism from which to evaluate human action.

Part I begins with a historical introduction and chronology of the development of virtue ethics, providing a comprehensive assessment of its evolution and identifying the most influential authors and works. These may be divided into authors who follow (1) a philosophical or conceptual tradition in their treatment of virtue and those who belong to the research traditions of (2) social science and positive science, in particular, empirical, quantitative, and applied psychology. Following are some of the issues discussed. It is indeed noteworthy that Aristotle, to cite an ancient author, or MacIntyre, to cite a modern one, be called upon to provide a basis for virtue ethics applied to business, given their highly critical views of a “life dedicated to money-making” and capitalism, respectively. From this perspective, it seems to make more sense to have recourse to Adam Smith who, after all, is the father of modern economics and the philosopher of modern commercial society par excellence. Yet how are we to reconcile a purported Smithian virtue ethics with the utilitarian currents underlying The Wealth of Nations? Would the recourse to a complementary Theory of Moral Sentiments be enough to warrant such an attribution? Virtue ethics has often been aligned and identified with Catholic Social Teaching. But Catholic Social Teaching unequivocally presents itself as part of moral theology. Does that not constitute an important limitation to virtue ethics’ claims of universality? Consistent with most legal thinking is Natural Law theory’s focus on setting the minimum or lower limits of what is tolerable or acceptable behavior in society. So what are we to make of New Natural Law theory’s claims not only to promote virtue in business and economics but also to create wealth? Although feminist ethics and the ethics of care may not share many of the assumptions of traditional virtue ethics, they nonetheless have in common a sensitivity to particulars and a reproval of abstract principles of justice. Similarly, Confucianism, with its emphasis on the collective, such as the family or society, over the individual, and its unrelenting search for the ideal of harmonious living. Occupying the front and center of the Austrian School of Economics’ attention is the individual acting person, in its search of a universal logic of freedom. These behavioral rules manifest themselves primarily in the market. How can the market be supportive, rather than hostile, to virtue? As philosophers team up with welfare economists, political scientists, and sociologists in developing a capabilities approach to the objective of “integral human development,” what new insights can be gained regarding virtue’s role? Can virtue be accounted for in accordance with the empirical, quantitative, and predictive paradigms of modern scientific psychology? Is virtue a character and personality trait or simply a beneficial outcome of the situation or environment? Beyond the treatment of pathologies, how useful are the virtues in enabling human beings not only to do well, but also to do good, in accordance with the aims of Positive Organizational Scholarship?

Part II: continues with systematic approaches and major themes developed in virtue ethics. Contributions here may be conceptual, empirical, and applied or case studies. A first group deals with different topics to which virtue ethics has been applied; a second group, with how virtue ethics has influenced various operational areas or departments of the firm; and a third group, with virtue ethics responses to some of the major issues currently besetting businesses and organizations. Thus we consider whether the attribution of virtues to both individuals and organizations is univocal, analogical, or simply metaphorical, and equivocal. We also return to the old Socratic chestnut of whether virtue can be taught, and if so, how, given today’s pedagogical methods. We analyze how virtue affects simultaneously an agent’s knowledge and desires, such that it alters the whole decisionmaking process. We look into the relationship between the intellectual virtues and moral virtues, on the one hand, and human flourishing or eudaimonia, on the other. We examine the possibility of “virtuous jurisprudence,” in a manner that preserves personal autonomy and the good. We study how, from an unlikely Weberian framework, virtue interrelates with spirituality and management, particularly in the case of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. And we realize how genuine leadership is revealed not only in grandiose feats or conquests but also in ordinary gestures where virtue can be embedded. Still within the principal-agent relationship in which corporate governance is cast,  we delve into the “board-level” virtues and their repercussions for organizations.We enumerate the most significant virtues in marketing, such as honesty, fairness, respect, and so forth, as well as opposing vices, such as “greenwashing,” with special reference to children and other vulnerable populations. Friendship is put forward as a practical model for collaborative supply-chain management. Virtues are incorporated into organizational ethics to enhance human resource management policies. And the different virtues needed for creating, sharing, absorbing, and using knowledge in the information and communication technology sector (ICT) are explained. An essay on the virtue of global solidarity defined as “love for the common good” anchors one of the final sections.We learn about the most important virtues – justice, moderation, magnificence, magnanimity, liberality, and generosity – for institutions, such as the State and the market. We get a glimpse of what “virtuous sustainable development” could be like.

In this way, we hope to offer a comprehensive view of the state of virtue ethics scholarship in business and management without untowardly sacrificing depth, pluralism, and nuance. Now comes the most pleasant task of acknowledging our gratitude to all the people who have generously collaborated with us in this project: contributors; section editors; our copy editor, Mary Baker; and our editors at Springer, especially Annalea Manalili, Michael Hermann, and Neil Olivier. This would not have been possible without you. It is as much yours as it is ours. Thank you very much.
 

CONTENTS

Volume 1
Section I Historical Approach
Part I Aristotle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics and Virtuous Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Edwin Hartman
Aesthetic Dimensions of Virtue Ethics: Implications for
Business Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Daryl Koehn
Organization as Koinōnia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Kevin Morrell
When Does Income Cost Too Much? AView from Aristotle . . . . . . . . . 33
Daniel C. Russell
Corporate Roles and Virtues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Miguel Alzola
Part II MacIntyre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
MacIntyre’s Influence on Business Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Ron Beadle
Practical Wisdom, Practices, and Institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Gregory R. Beabout
MacIntyre’s Critique of Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Kelvin Knight
Against MacIntyre: The Corrupting Power of Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
John Dobson

Developing Virtues in Developing Countries: Case Studies
from Rwanda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Carter Crockett
Part III Adam Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Recovering Adam Smith’s Virtue Ethics for Commercial Society . . . . . 115
Thomas R. Wells and Johan Graafland
Is Smith a Real Virtue Ethicist? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Ryan Patrick Hanley
Adam Smith on the Greatest Wealth of Nations: How Progress
Depends on Virtuous Citizenship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Jerry Evensky
Adam Smith’s Advice on Living Well in a Commercial Society . . . . . . 135
Jack Russell Weinstein
Adam Smith: Moral Judgment Versus Moral Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Craig Smith
Part IV Catholic Social Teaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Virtues, Values, and Principles in Catholic Social Teaching . . . . . . . . . 153
Domènec Melé
Virtue Ethics in the Catholic Tradition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Helen Alford
Service in the Catholic Social Tradition: A Crucial Virtue for
Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
Gregorio Guitián
Practical Wisdom as the Sine Qua Non Virtue for the Business
Leader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Micha el Naughton

Virtues and Principles in Managing People in the Organization . . . . . . 199
Alejandro Moreno-Salamanca and Domènec Melé
Virtues for an Integral Ecology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211
Antonio Porras
Part V New Natural Law Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Doing Business: Professional Work and Eutrapelian Play . . . . . . . . . . . 223
Jude Soo Meng Chua

New Classical Natural Law Theory, Virtue, and the Economy . . . . . . . 239
Samuel Gregg
The Firm and Its Common Good: Cooperation, Virtuous Work, and
Friendship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
J. I. Pinto
What Virtues for Business Ethics? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Michele Mangini
Cosmopolitan New Natural Law: Discerning Virtue and
Responsibilities in Global Economic Governance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Part VI Feminist Ethics and Ethics of Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Third Wave Feminism, Ethics of Care, and Corporate Governance:
The Case of Gender Quotas on Corporate Boards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
John Dobson, Nicolette Gorospe, and Seung-yeon Sunny Jeong
Normative Foundations of Corporate Governance and the
Ethic of Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297
Silke Machold
Application of an Ethic of Care to Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307
Philip M. Linsley
Sustainable Wasteland: Ecological Humanism, Cadaver Cosmetics,
and the Desirable Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
Wendy Lynne Lee
Part VII Capabilities Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331
Business, Capabilities Theory, and the Virtue of Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
Christopher P. Vogt
Capabilities Theory and the Ends of Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345
Subodh P. Kulkarni
Capabilities Theory and the Virtuous Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355
Conor M. Kelly
Homo Oeconomicus Reconsidered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367
Benedetta Giovanola

Moral Foundations Theory: Building Value Through Moral
Pluralism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 521
Spassena Koleva, Erica Beall, and Jesse Graham
Part XI Positive Organizational Scholarship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 531
An Introduction to Positive Organizational Scholarship . . . . . . . . . . . . 533
Brianna Barker Caza
Positive Organizational Scholarship and Virtue Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . 547
David S. Bright
Professional Moral Courage: Fostering Principled Performance
at Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 557
Leslie E. Sekerka, Debra R. Comer, and Lindsey N. Godwin
Organizational Virtue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 569
Arran Caza
The Virtue of Human Being in Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 579
Lloyd Sandelands
Section II Systematic Approach
Part XII Individual Virtues and Organizational Virtues . . . . . . . . . 589
Organizational Character and Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 591
Geoff Moore
A Case Study of a Justice-Based Virtuous Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . 601
Karen P. Manz, Robert D. Marx, Charles C. Manz, and Pamala J. Dillon
Organizations and the Development of Virtue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613
Gary R. Weaver
Developing a Virtuous Organizational Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 623
J. Thomas Whetstone
Personal Virtues and Firm Goals: An Aristotelian–Thomistic
Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 635
Héctor O. Rocha
Part XIII Teaching and Training in Virtue Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 645
Teaching and Training Virtues: Behavioral Measurement and
Pedagogical Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 647
Mitchell J. Neubert

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