Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 227–244 | Cite as

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

Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Common Good Principle Golden Rule human dignity Personalism Personalist Principle virtue ethics 

Abbreviations

CGP

Common Good Principle

NE

Nicomachean Ethics (by Aristotle)

Pol

Politics (by Aristotle)

PP

Personalist Principle

S Th

Summa Theologiae (by Thomas Aquinas)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adler, M.J.: 1996 [1970], The Time of Our Lives. The Ethics of Common Sense, 2nd ed. (Fordham University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  2. Alford, H. and M. Naugthon: 2002, ‘Beyond the Shareholder Model of the Firm: Working toward the Common Good of a Business’, in S.A. Cortright and M. Naugthon (eds.), Rethinking the Purpose of Business. Interdisciplinary Essays from the Catholic social Tradition (Notre Dame University Press, Notre Dame), pp.27-47.Google Scholar
  3. Anscombe, E.: 1958, ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’, Philosophy 33, 1–19. Reproduced in Crisp, R. and M. Slote (eds.): 1997, Virtue Ethics (Oxford University Press, Oxford).Google Scholar
  4. Aquinas, S. T.: 1966, Treatise on the Virtues, trans. J. A. Oesterle (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ)Google Scholar
  5. Aquinas, T.: 1981 [1273], Summa Theologiae, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (Burns Oates and Washbourne, Ltd, London)Google Scholar
  6. Argandoña, A.: 1998, ‘The Stakeholder Theory and the Common Good’, Journal of Business Ethics 17, 1093-1102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Aristotle: 1925, The Nicomachean Ethics, trans. D. Ross (Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York, Reprinted in 1980)Google Scholar
  8. Aristotle: 1948, Politics, trans. E. Barker (Oxford University Press, Oxford)Google Scholar
  9. Arkani, S. and R. Theobald: 2005, ‘Corporate involvement in human rights: is it any of their business?’ Business Ethics: A European Review 14(3), 190-205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bertone, T.: 2007, L’Etica del bene comune nella dottrina sociale della Chiesa (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano).Google Scholar
  11. Bible, Holy: 1966, New Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition) (Scepter, Princeton, NJ)Google Scholar
  12. Bowne, B. P.: 2007 [1908], Personalism (Kessinger Publishing, Whitefish, Montana)Google Scholar
  13. Buford, T.: 2006, ‘Persons in the Tradition of Boston Personalism’, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 20(3), 214-218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Burrow, R.: 1999, Personalism: A Critical Introduction (Chalice Press St. Louis, MO).Google Scholar
  15. Burton, B.K. and M. Goldshy: 2005, ‘The Golden Rule and Business Ethics: An Examination’, Journal of Business Ethics 56, 371–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Campbell, T.: 2006, ‘A Human Rights Approach to Developing Voluntary Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations’, Business Ethics Quarterly 16(2), 255-269.Google Scholar
  17. Cassel, D.: 2001, ‘Human Rights and Business Responsibility in the Global Marketplace’, Business Ethics Quarterly 11(2), 261-274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chan, G.K.Y.: 2008, ‘The Relevance and Value of Confucianism in Contemporary Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 77(3), 347-360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cragg, W.: 2000, ‘Human Rights and Business Ethics: Fashioning a New Social Contract’, Journal of Business Ethics 27(1/2), 205-214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Crane, A. and D. Matten: 2007, Business Ethics 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York).Google Scholar
  21. Crosby, J.F.: 1996, The Selfhood of the Human Person (Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C.).Google Scholar
  22. Cunningham, W.P.: 1998, ‘The Golden Rule as Universal Ethical Norm’, Journal of Business Ethics 17, 105–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. De George, R.T.: 2006, ‘The History of Business Ethics’, in M.J. Epstein and K.O. Hanson (eds.), The Accountable Corporation. Vol 2 Business Ethics (Praeger Westpoint), pp.47-58.Google Scholar
  24. DesJardins, J.: 1984, ‘Virtues and Business Ethics’, in W.M. Hoffman, J.M. Moore and D. A. Fredo (eds.), Corporate Governance and Institutionalizing Ethics (D.C. Health and Company).Google Scholar
  25. Donaldson, T. and T.W. Dunfee: 1994, ‘Towards a Unified Conception of Business Ethics: Integrative Social Contracts Theory’, Academy of Management Review 19, 252-284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Donaldson, T. and T.W. Dunfee: 1999, Ties That Bind: A Social Contracts Approach to Business Ethics (Harvard Business School Press, Boston).Google Scholar
  27. Finnis, J.: 1986, Natural Law and Natural Rights (Clarendon Press, Oxford).Google Scholar
  28. Foot, P.: 1978, Virtues and Vices and Others Essays in Moral Philosophy (University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles).Google Scholar
  29. Frankena, W.K.: 1973, Ethics (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ).Google Scholar
  30. Frankental, P.: 2002, ‘The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a corporate code of conduct’, Business Ethics: A European Review 11(2), 129-133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Freeman, R.E.: 1991, Business Ethics: The State of the Art (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  32. Frenkel, D.A. and Y. Lurie: 2003, ‘Human rights in industrial relations – the Israeli approach’, Business Ethics: A European Review 12(1), 33-40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gensler, H.J.: 1996, Formal Ethics (Routledge, New York).Google Scholar
  34. Harris, L.: 2002, ‘Achieving a Balance in Human Resourcing Between Employee Rights and Care for the Individual’, Business & Professional Ethics Journal 21(2), 45-60.Google Scholar
  35. Hartman, E.M.: 1998, ‘The Role of Character in Business Ethics’, Business Ethics Quarterly 8(3), 547-559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hartman, E.M.: 2006, ‘Can We Teach Character? An Aristotelian Answer’, Academy of Management Learning & Education 5(1), 68-81.Google Scholar
  37. Hartman, E.M.: 2008a, ‘Socratic Questions and Aristotelian Answers: A Virtue-Based Approach to Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 78(3), 313-328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hartman, E.M.: 2008b, ‘Reconciliation in Business Ethics: Some Advice from Aristotle’, Business Ethics Quarterly 18(2), 253-265.Google Scholar
  39. Hasnas, J.: 1998, ‘The Normative Theories of Business Ethics: A Guide for the Perplexed’, Business Ethics Quarterly 8, 19-42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hauerwas, S.: 1981, A Community of Character: towards a Constructive Christian Social Ethics (University of Notre Dame Press, South Bend, IN).Google Scholar
  41. Hursthouse, R.: 1999, On Virtue Ethics (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  42. Ip, P. K.: 2008, Is Confucianism Good for Business Ethics in China. Presented at the 15th IESE International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, Barcelona, May 15-17, 2008. Special Issue of the Journal of Business Ethics (Forthcoming)Google Scholar
  43. Ishay, M.: 2008, The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era, 2nd Rev. ed. (University of California Press, Berkeley)Google Scholar
  44. Kant, I.: 1998 [1785], Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge, New York)Google Scholar
  45. Koehn, D.: 1995, ‘A role for virtue ethics in the analysis of business practice’, Business Ethics Quarterly 5(3), 533-539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Koehn, D.: 1998, ‘Virtue Ethics, the Firm, and Moral Psychology’, Business Ethics Quarterly 8(3), 497-513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Koslowski, P.: 2006, ‘The Common Good of the Firm as the Fiduciary Duty of the Manager’, in G.J. Rossuw and A.J. Sison (eds.), Global Perspectives on the Ethics of Corporate Governance (Palgrave-MacMillan, New York), pp.67-76.Google Scholar
  48. MacInerny, R.M.: 1982, Etica Thomistica: The moral philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (Catholic University of America Press, Washington).Google Scholar
  49. MacIntryre, A.: 1985, After Virtue. A Study in Moral Theory 2nd ed. (Duckworth, London).Google Scholar
  50. Maritain, J.: 1947, The Person and the Common Good (Charles Scribner’s Son, New York).Google Scholar
  51. McDowell, J.: 1997, ‘Virtue and Reason’, in R. Crisp and M. Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics (Oxford University Press, New York), pp.141-162.Google Scholar
  52. McHugh, F.P.: 1988, Keyguide to Information Sources in Business Ethics (Nichols Publishing, New York).Google Scholar
  53. Melé, D.: 2002, ‘Not Only Stakeholders interests: The Firm Oriented towards the Common Good’, in S.A. Cortright and M.J. Naughton (eds.), Rethinking the Purpose of Business. Interdisciplinary Essays from Catholic Social Tradition (Notre Dame University Press, Notre Dame, IN), pp.190-214.Google Scholar
  54. Melendo, T.: 1984, ‘Metafísica de la dignidad humana’, Anuario Filosófico 27, 15-35.Google Scholar
  55. Messner, J.: 1965, Social Ethics. Natural Law in the Modern World, trans. J .J. Doherty (Herder, St. Louis, USA)Google Scholar
  56. Moore, G.E.: 1951 [1903], Principia Ethica (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK)Google Scholar
  57. Moore, G.: 2002, ‘On the Implications of the Practice-Institution Distinction: MacIntyre and the Application of Modern Virtue Ethics to Business’, Business Ethics Quarterly 12(1), 19-32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Moore, G.: 2005a, ‘Corporate Character: Modern Virtue Ethics and the Virtuous Corporation’, Business Ethics Quarterly 15(4), 659-685.Google Scholar
  59. Moore, G.: 2005b, ‘Humanizing Business: A Modern Virtue Ethics Approach’, Business Ethics Quarterly 15(2), 237-255.Google Scholar
  60. Moses, J.: 2001, Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions (Ballantine, New York).Google Scholar
  61. Mounier, E.: 2001 [1952] Personalism (University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN).Google Scholar
  62. Novack, M.: 1998, ‘The Judeo-Christian Foundation of Human Dignity’, Journal of Markets & Morality 1(2), 107-121.Google Scholar
  63. Oderberg, D.S.: 2000, Moral Theory (Blackwell, Oxford).Google Scholar
  64. PCJP (Pontificium Consilium ‘Justice and Peace’): 2004, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano).Google Scholar
  65. Plato: 1967, Gorgias. Plato in Twelve Volumes, trans. W. R. M. Lamb (Harvard University Press & William Heinemann Ltd., Cambridge, MA, London)Google Scholar
  66. Pope Benedict XVI: 2009, ‘Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps’, January 8, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2009/january/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20090108_diplomatic-corps_en.html. Accessed 14 Jan 2009
  67. Pope Benedictus XVI: 2008, ‘Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization in New York’, April, 18, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/april/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080418_un-visit_en.html. Accessed 14 Jan 2009
  68. Pope John Paul II: 1979, ‘Address to the Italian Catholic Lawyers Association (‘Unione Guiristi Italiani’)’, December 7, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1979/december/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19791207_giuristi-cattolici_it.html. Accessed 14 Jan 2009
  69. Porter, J.: 2005, Nature as Reason: A Thomistic Theory of the Natural Law (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI and Cambridge, UK).Google Scholar
  70. Roca, E.: 2008, ‘Introducing Practical Wisdom in Business Schools’, Journal of Business Ethics 82(3), 607-620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Rourke, T. and R. Rourke: 2005, A Theory of Personalism (Lexington Books, New York).Google Scholar
  72. Scheler, M.: 1973 [1913–1916], Formalism in Ethics and Non-formal Ethics of Values: A New Attempt toward the Foundation of an Ethical Personalism, trans. M. S. Frings and R. L. Funk (Northwester University Press, Evanston, IL)Google Scholar
  73. Sen, A.: 1999, ‘Human Rights and Asian Values’, in T. Machan (ed.), Business Ethics in the Global Marketplace (Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, CA), pp.37-62.Google Scholar
  74. Shaw, W.H.: 1996, ‘Business Ethics Today. A Survey’, Journal of Business Ethics 15, 489-500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sison, A.J.G.: 2007, ‘Toward a Common Good Theory of the Firm: The Tasubinsa Case’, Journal of Business Ethics 74(4), 471-480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Slote, M.: 1983, Goods and Virtues (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  77. Slote, M.: 1992, From Morality to Virtue (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  78. Slote, M.: 2001, Morals from motives (Oxford University Press, New York).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Solomon, R.C.: 1992, ‘Corporate Roles, Personal Virtues: An Aristotelain Approach to Business Ethics’, Business Ethics Quarterly 2(3), 317-339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Solomon, C. R.: 1993 [1992], Ethics and Excellence: Cooperation and Integrity in Business (Oxford University Press, New York)Google Scholar
  81. Solomon, C.R.: 1999, A better way to think about business: how personal integrity leads to corporate success (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  82. Solomon, R.C.: 2004, ‘Aristotle, Ethics and Business Organizations’, Organization Studies 25(6), 1021-1043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Spaemann, R.: 2000, Happiness and Benevolence, trans. J. Alberg (Notre Dame University Press, Notre Dame, IN)Google Scholar
  84. Spaemann, R.: 2006, Persons: The Difference between ‘Someone’ and ‘Something’, trans. O. O’Donovan (Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York)Google Scholar
  85. United Nations: 1987, Report of the World Commission on␣Environment and Development (The Brundtland Report), http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/42/ares42-187.htm. Accessed 14 May 2008
  86. Von Balthasar, H.U.: 1986, ‘On the Concept of Person’, Communio: International Catholic Review 13(Spring), 18-26.Google Scholar
  87. Walton, C.: 2004, ‘Character and Integrity in Organizations. The Civilization of the Workplace’, Business and Professional Ethics Journal 20, 105-128.Google Scholar
  88. Watson (ed.). 1998, The Digest of Justinian (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).Google Scholar
  89. Wattles, J.: 1996, The Golden Rule (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  90. Werhane, P.H. and R.E. Freeman: 1999, ‘Business ethics: the state of the art ‘, International Journal of Management Reviews 1(1), 1-16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Whetstone, J.T.: 2002, ‘Personalism and Moral Leadership: The Servant Leader with a Transforming Vision’, Business Ethics: A European Review 11(4), 385-392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Williams, B.: 1981, Moral Luck (Cambridge University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  93. Williams, B.: 1985, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (Harvard University Prerss, Cambridge, MA).Google Scholar
  94. Williams, T.D.: 2005, Who is my neighbor?: Personalism and the Foundations of Human Rights (Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C.).Google Scholar
  95. Wojtyla, K.: 1993a, Person and Community. Selected Essays, trans. O. Theresa Sandok (Peter Lang, New York)Google Scholar
  96. Wojtyla, K.: 1993b [1960], Love and Responsibility, trans. H. T. Willetts (Ignatius Press, San Francisco)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations