v2n4: Norman Responds to Martin on the ‘Point’ of Markets

“Is there ‘a Point’ to Markets? A Response to Martin,” by Wayne Norman

A RESPONSE TO Dominic Martin (2013), “The Unification Challenge”Bus Ethics J Rev 1(5): 28–35.

Abstract: Dominic Martin attributes to me and other adherents of the market-failures approach to business ethics a narrow account of justification, focused solely on economic efficiency. On the contrary, I argue the appeal to efficiency and market failure is best seen as a pragmatic, Rawlsian, strategy to find common ground and a shared vocabulary for business ethicists who have long been Balkanized by overly ideological “theories.” So understood, the market-failures approach is not the reductivist program Martin portrays it to be. Efficiency and the taming of market failures should be seen as one of many grounds (albeit usually the most important) for both regulatory and beyond-compliance norms for business in a capitalist democracy.

To download the full PDF, click here: Norman Responds to Martin.


v2n3: Koehn on Dierksmeier’s Kantian Virtue Ethics

“Kantian Virtue Ethics in the Context of Business: How Practically Useful Can It Be?” by Daryl Koehn

A COMMENT ON Claus Dierksmeier (2013), “Kant On Virtue,” J Bus Ethics 113: 597–609.
Abstract: Claus Dierksmeier admirably combats the misperception that Kant is a deontologist with no regard for virtue. Dierksmeier contends Kant offers a theory of virtue that can contribute in significant ways to advancing the analysis of, e.g., stakeholder theory and internal compliance programs. His plea that business ethicists should view Kant as a resource for thinking more widely and deeply about virtue seems eminently sensible. However, there are grounds for questioning whether a Kantian approach will be of much help in thinking through the ethics of real world business practices.

To download the full PDF, click here: Koehn on Dierksmeier.


v2n2: Sinnicks on Beabout

“Mastery of One’s Domain Is Not the Essence of Management” by Matthew Sinnicks

A COMMENT ON Gregory Beabout (2012), “Management as a Domain-Relative Practice that Requires and Develops Practical Wisdom,” Bus Ethics Q 22(2): 405–432

Abstract: I attempt to cast doubt on Beabout’s attempt to build on MacIntyre’s ethical theory by accounting for management as a ‘domain-relative’ practice for three reasons: i) we can partially engage in practices, so if management can be accounted a practice there is no need to invoke domain-relativity; ii) management does not seem to be domain-relative in the same way that other examples of domain-relative practices might be; and iii) practical wisdom, which Beabout sees as key to management as a domain-relative practice, is adequately covered by MacIntyre’s account of politics.

To download the full PDF, click here: Sinnicks on Beabout.


v2n1: Cohen Responds to Ohreen on Empathy in Business Ethics Education

“Empathy in Business Ethics Education Redux,” by Marc A. Cohen

A RESPONSE TO David Ohreen (2013), “The Limits of Empathy in Business Ethics Education”Bus Ethics J Rev 1(18): 113–119.

Abstract: My original paper (Cohen 2012) argued that business ethics education should focus on cultivating empathetic concern. This response clarifies terminology used in that paper and responds to criticisms presented by David Ohreen (2013).

To download the full PDF, click here: Cohen Responds to Ohreen.


v1n18: Ohreen on Cohen

“The Limits of Empathy in Business Ethics Education” by David Ohreen

A COMMENT ON Marc A. Cohen (2012), “Empathy in Business Ethics Education,” J Bus Ethics Educ 9(1): 359–376, http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/jbee2012918

Abstract: This paper challenges Cohen’s application of empathy to business ethics education. I argue Cohen fails to adequately address the problems of empathetic penetrability and accuracy in regards to reading other’s minds. Given these problems, I conclude empathy may be less important as an antecedent to moral action than Cohen suggests.

To download the full PDF, click here: Ohreen on Cohen.


BEJR Now in Philosopher’s Index

Good news! We just got confirmation that the Business Ethics Journal Review is now going to be indexed in the Philosopher’s Index, alongside top journals like Business Ethics Quarterly and Journal of Business Ethics. We will be added to their list of ‘regularly indexed’ journals and our listing there will be continuously updated as new Commentaries and Responses are published.

Philosophers will know that the Philosopher’s Index is the canonical listing of publications in philosophy. Over the last five decades or so, the Philosopher’s Index has amassed over “525,000 journal article and book citations covering over 1500 journals from 139 countries in 37 languages.”

Of course, BEJR is not just for philosophers — we welcome submissions from management scholars, economics, legal scholars, and political scientists, just for starters. But this listing marks an important milestone in the growing recognition of BEJR as a credible venue for scholarly publication in the world of business ethics.


v1n17: Beschorner on Porter & Kramer on Creating Shared Value

“Creating Shared Value: The One-Trick Pony Approach” by Thomas Beschorner

A COMMENT ON Michael Porter and Mark Kramer (2011), “Creating Shared Value,” Harv Bus Rev 89(1/2): 62–77.

Abstract: Although Michael Porter’s and Marc Kramer’s article “Creating Shared Value” is a welcome attempt to mainstream business ethics among management practitioners, it is neither so radical nor such a departure from standard management thinking as the authors make it seem. Porter’s and Kramer’s criticism and rejection of corporate social responsibility depends upon a straw man conception of CSR and their ultimate reliance on economic arguments is too normatively thin to do the important work of reconnecting businesses with society. For these reasons, prospects for a genuine reinvention of capitalism lie elsewhere.

To download the full PDF, click here: Beschorner on Porter and Kramer.


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