Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 227–244

Integrating Personalism into Virtue-Based Business Ethics: The Personalist and the Common Good Principles


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0108-y

Cite this article as:
Melé, D. J Bus Ethics (2009) 88: 227. doi:10.1007/s10551-009-0108-y


Some virtue ethicists are reluctant to consider principles and standards in business ethics. However, this is problematic. This paper argues that realistic Personalism can be integrated into virtue-based business ethics, giving it a more complete base. More specifically, two principles are proposed: the Personalist Principle (PP) and the Common Good Principle (CGP). The PP includes the Golden Rule and makes explicit the duty of respect, benevolence, and care for people, emphasizing human dignity and the innate rights of every human being. The CGP entails cooperation to promote conditions which enhance the opportunity for the human␣flourishing of all people within a community. Both principles have practical implications for business ethics.


Common Good PrincipleGolden Rulehuman dignityPersonalismPersonalist Principlevirtue ethics



Common Good Principle


Nicomachean Ethics (by Aristotle)


Politics (by Aristotle)


Personalist Principle

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Summa Theologiae (by Thomas Aquinas)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair Business Ethics, IESE Business SchoolUniversity of NavarraBarcelonaSpain