Towards an Ethical Framework Grounded in Everyday Business Life

Gabriel Donleavy


Business is increasingly concerned to reconcile investor driven pressure to perform with statedriven pressure to conform (to a cascade of new regulation). Ethics generally favors the latter atthe expense of the former. The ethical frameworks developed in the last few years differ fromtheir classical predecessors, however. Integrative Social Contract Theory begins with the businesscontract and moves out from there to the wider society. Care theory begins with the relationshipbetween two individual persons and moves out from there. Both theories are skepticalof the Universalist claims of classical ethical and religious frameworks and both claim to beuser friendly. This paper compares and contrasts the two theories and hopes to show how theethical lacunae in ISCT can be fixed by Care Theory. How a business would operate under thesway of Care Theory is described. Fears that Care Theory cannot be applied to business withoutweakening competitive strength are addressed. The paper is offered as a step towards mergingISCT and Care Theory to evolve an ethical framework for business. It would be a frameworkthat engages fully with business realities, especially competitive realities, but that is directlyand clearly guided by classical ethical principles. Copyright ©

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Copyright ©

Issues In Social and Environmental Accounting (ISEA) - ISSN: 1978-0591