Virtues in Business

business_ethics_highlights_2Here’s a new paper on the popular-but-contested notion of “virtue”, in the latest issue of the Business Ethics Quarterly. >>>

Virtuous Persons and Virtuous Actions in Business Ethics and Organizational Research, by Miguel Alzola

Abstract: The language of virtue is gaining wider appreciation in the philosophical, psychological, and management literatures. Ethicists and social scientists aim to integrate normative and empirical approaches into a new “science of virtue.” But, I submit, they are talking past each other; they hold radically different notions of what a virtue is. In this paper, I shall examine two conflicting conceptions of virtue, what I call the reductive and the non-reductive accounts of virtue. I shall critically study them and argue that the non-reductive view is the best philosophical account of virtue and the only one that can account for the way we talk about virtue in business and in everyday life. We can only understand what it means to act virtuously through the examination of the attitudes, beliefs, desires, and inclinations of the virtuous agent. I shall illustrate the differences between the reductive and non-reductive accounts by considering the virtue of gratitude.

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