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Social Sciences - Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility | On the (Im)Possibility of Business Ethics - Critical Complexity, Deconstruction, and Implications

On the (Im)Possibility of Business Ethics

Critical Complexity, Deconstruction, and Implications for Understanding the Ethics of Business

Series: Issues in Business Ethics, Vol. 37

Woermann, Minka

2013, XVIII, 178 p.

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  • Presents an in depth engagement with post structural thought – particularly that of Jacques Derrida
  • Systematically unpacks the rich interplay between complexity theory and deconstruction
  • Shows why a complex notion of ethics introduces new categories for thinking about business ethics
  • Demonstrates the implications that a complex ethics holds for our understanding of prominent business ethics

Corporations, and the environments in which they operate, are complex, with changing multiple dimensions, and an inherent capacity to evolve qualitatively. A central premise of this study is that a postmodern reading of ethics represents an expression of, and an engagement with, the ethical complexities that define the business landscape. In particular, the deconstructive philosophy of Jacques Derrida offers a non-trivial reading of a complex notion of ethics, and thereby helps us to develop the skills necessary to critique and intervene in our practices, and to develop robust strategies for living in the absence of prescriptive ethical frameworks. Although a central premise of this study is that substantive ethical claims can only be generated within a given context, the study nevertheless presents readers with a meta-position that illustrates the type of considerations that should inform ethical reflection from a complexity perspective. In order to illustrate the value that this meta-position holds for business ethics, these considerations are explored in terms of the implications that they hold for our understanding of corporate social responsibility, for the practice of responsible management and leadership practices, and for teaching business ethics.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Conceptualising Corporate Identity - Conceptualising Corporate Responsibility - Conceptualising Stakeholder Relations - Deconstruction as an Expression of Ethical Complexity - Deconstructive Ethics - Derrida’s Central Concepts - Guiding Principles for Corporate Social Responsibility - Poststructural Understanding of Business Ethics - Reconsidering the Meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility - Responsible Leadership - The Complexity of Ethics - The Ethics of Complexity - Theory of Corporate Social Responsibility - Traditional Account of Corporate Social Responsibility

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Business & Management for Professionals - Complexity - Education & Language - Organization - Human Resource Management - Philosophy

Table of contents 

Preface.- Part I   Theoretical foundation.- 1. Towards a postmodern understanding of business ethics.- 2. The ethics of complexity and the complexity of ethics.- 3. Introducing a deconstructive ethics.-  4. ‘Virtues’ for a complex world.- Part II  Practical application
5. Reconsidering the meaning of corporate social responsibility.- 6. Towards a theory and model of corporate social responsibility and implications for management and leadership practices.-7. Implications for teaching business ethics.- Index.

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