The authors argue that studying classic literature (fiction) is useful in strengthening the manager's ability to resolve specific ethical dilemmas.
The authors summarize stories, plays and novels that explicitly address a series of ethical trials common to many managers (e.g., whistleblowing, discrimination and greed). Recognizing the multicultural nature of contemporary business practice, the authors draw upon literature from Europe and Asia to illustrate their thesis. Studying literature offers a challenging and personally compelling method for managers (and management students) to improve their moral sensitivity and strengthen the decision making skills used in addressing the ethical ambiguities of business practice.
The article concludes with a supplemental reading list that summarizes additional pieces of international literature with strong business ethics themes.
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Tony McAdams is Professor of business law in the Management Department at the University of Northern Iowa. Professor McAdams has been published in theHarvard Business Review andThe Academy of Management Review, among other journals, and he is the principal author of the text,Law, Business, and Society. He received the 1978 Distinguished Teaching Award from the student government at the University of Kentucky.
Roswitha Koppensteiner received an MBA degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1990.
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McAdams, T., Koppensteiner, R. The manager seeking virtue: Lessons from literature. J Bus Ethics 11, 627–634 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00872274
- Economic Growth
- Business Ethic
- Ethical Dilemma
- Business Practice
- International Literature