Economic criteria versus ethical criteria toward resolving a basic dilemma in business
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Today's headlines suggest that economic criteria alone is the basis for business decision-making. This paper argues that while profitability is a legitimate end of business, it must be moderated by ethical considerations. But can business be both successfuland ethical? Practical examples highlight individuals who chose profitability over ethical responsibility and those who chose and continue to choose both. The authors propose that there is an ethical person profile. Corporate managers can resolve the profits vs ethics dilemma by modeling ethical behavior.
Robert F. O'Neil is Professor of Economics at the University of San Diego. Before recently returning to the classroom on a full time basis, Dr. O'Neil was Associate Dean of the School of Business and Director of the MBA program.
Darlene A. Pienta is presently Assistant Professor of Management at the University of San Diego. She teaches Business Policy and Organization Theory. Dr. Pienta is Editor, Management and Public Policy for theInternational Journal Of Value-Based Management. She is also a reviewer for the Social Issues in Management Division of the Academy of Management and the International Association for Business and Society. She has published, presented or chaired sessions in these associations. Dr. Pienta was a Fulbright lecturer at CETYS in Tijuana, Mexico in Fall, 1991.
Andrews, K. R.: 1989, ‘Ethics in Practice’,Harvard Business Review, 99–105.
Bellah, R. N., R. Madsen, W. M. Sullivan, A. Swidler and S. M. Tipton: 1986,Habits of the Heart (Harper and Row, New York).
Bennis, W. G.: 1985, Forward in D. McGregor,The Human side of Enterprise (pp. IV-VIII) (McGraw-Hill, New York). Original work published 1965.
Bird, F. B. and J. A. Waters: 1989, ‘The Moral Muteness of Managers’,California Management Review 32, 73–89.
Blundel, William E.: 1973, ‘Some Assets Missing, Insurance Called Bogus at Equity Funding Life’,Wall Street Journal, New York, April 2.
Byrne, J. A.: 1991, ‘The Flap Over Executive Pay’,Business Week, May 6, 90–96.
Davis, L. J.: 1990, ‘Chronicle of a Debacle Foretold: How Deregulation Begat the S&L Scandal’,Harper's Magazine, Sept., 50–66.
Dwyer, P., C. Yang, R. Grover and F. B. Levine: 1989, ‘The Seduction of Senator Alan Cranston’,Business Week, Dec. 4, 82–84.
Ellis, J. E.: 1991, ‘More Instant Cash Than a Lottery’,Business Week, May 20, 42.
Harris, C., and W. Brown: 1990, ‘Developmental Constraints on Ethical Behavior in Business’,Journal of Business Ethics 9, 855–862.
Lewis, M.: 1989,Liar's Poker (Penguin Books, New York).
McGregor, D.: 1985,The Human Side of Enterprise (McGraw-Hill, New York).
Peters, T. J. and R. H. Waterman: 1982,In Search of Excellence (Harper and Row, New York).
Pettigrew, A.: 1987,The Management of Strategic Change (Basil Blackwell, Oxford).
San Diego Union, July 21, 1991.
Serlen, B.: 1987–1988, ‘W. Edwards Deming: The Man Who Made Japan Famous — For Quality’,NYU Business 14.
Therrien, L.: 1989, ‘The Rival Japan Respects’,Business Week, Nov., 108–118.
- Economic criteria versus ethical criteria toward resolving a basic dilemma in business
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 13, Issue 1 , pp 71-78
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors