MacIntyrean Virtue Ethics in Business: A Cross-Cultural Comparison
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This paper seeks to establish whether the categories of MacIntyrean virtue ethics as applied to business organizations are meaningful in a non-western business context. It does so by building on research reported in Moore (Organ Stud, 33(3): 363–387, 2012) in which the application of virtue ethics to business organizations was investigated empirically in the UK, based on a conceptual framework drawn from MacIntyre’s work (After Virtue 2007). Comparing these results with an equivalent study in Sri Lanka, the paper finds that the categories are meaningful but that there are both similarities to and considerable differences in the content of these categories from the UK study. The paper draws on aspects of institutional theory to explore and explain these findings. Overall, there is supportive evidence that the categories of MacIntyrean virtue ethics are generalizable, and so can be used to characterize problems of organizational virtue and vice around the world, while providing evidence that there may be polities which are more conducive to the ‘practice-like conduct of production’ (Keat, Philos Manag, 7(1): 77–91, 2008).
KeywordsVirtue ethics Alasdair MacIntyre Institutional theory UK Sri Lanka
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