PHIL 1040 Lecture 1: Methodologies

author and title of lecture excerpt

Donovan and Green, "The Methods of Business Ethics

3 implications of business ethics mission

ethical theory, empirical research, individualistic focus

ethical theory presupposes

one should act ethically

person who said managers answer only to shareholders


person who said business is like poker, neither require ethics


inventor of stakeholder theory


3 dimension's of stakeholder approach

descriptive dimension, instrumental dimension, normative dimension

1st dimension of stakeholder approach (what it means)

business relationships implicate not only manager and shareholders, but stakeholders as well
(descriptive... describe wider perspective)

2nd dimension of stakeholder approach (what it means)

adopting a wider perspective facilitates business success
(instrumental... adopting a wider perspective is instrumental to success; it's lucrative)

3rd dimension of stakeholder approach (what it means)

moral justification for adopting a wider perspective
(normative... adopting a wider perspective is ethical)

problems with ethical implication

what to do when theories conflict

social scientific research mainly focuses on...

causes of misconduct

relationship between normative business ethics and empirical research

business ethics is normative at the core, and empirical research is normatively motivated

important theory concerning integration of normative and empirical ethics

Integrated Social Contract Theory (ISCT)

person(s) who wrote theory integrating normative and empirical ethics

Donaldson and Dunfee

basic premise of ISCT

incorporate concrete empirical elements into normative elements

macrosocial contract consists of...

hypernorms (derived from reason) and substantive norms (derived from experience)

microsocial contract consists of...

norms agreed upon by a (local) community

only follow microsocial contract if...

it conforms to macrosocial contract and is authentic (freely adopted by clear majority)

reasons why business ethics takes an individualistic approach

history (reaction to amoral individual manager stereotype)
pedagogy (business ethics is taught to individuals about their individual conduct)

2 effects of individualistic focus

focus on profits (even stakeholder theory includes an appeal to profit)
irrelevance of larger forces (bigger picture gets ignored)

3 people who point out flaws in individualistic focus

Lipke, Boatright, Brenkart

person who said that if manager focuses only on his own actions, he ignores the larger scope


person who said individualistic focus doesn't account for constraints caused by MARKET at large


person who said individualistic focus doesn't account for constraints caused by CORPORATE SYSTEM at large