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The Relevance and Value of Confucianism in Contemporary Business Ethics

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This article examines the relevance and value of Confucian Ethics to contemporary Business Ethics by comparing their respective perspectives and approaches towards business activities within the modern capitalist framework, the principle of reciprocity and the concept of human virtues. Confucian Ethics provides interesting parallels with contemporary Western-oriented Business Ethics. At the same, it diverges from contemporary Business Ethics in some significant ways. Upon an examination of philosophical texts as well as empirical studies, it is argued that Confucian Ethics is able to provide some unique philosophical and intellectual perspectives in order to forge a richer understanding and analysis of the field of contemporary Business Ethics.

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I am indeed grateful to Practice Associate Professor George Shenoy, Singapore Management University and Associate Professor A T Nuyen, Department of Philosophy, National University of Singapore for their valuable comments on an earlier draft. I remain solely responsible for any errors and shortcomings.

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Correspondence to Gary Kok Yew chan.

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Gary Kok Yew Chan is Assistant Professor of Law at Singapore Management University. Apart from Business Law, he teaches Ethics and Social Responsibility. He has obtained an LL.B (National University of Singapore) and LL.M (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) respectively and has published in several reputable law journals including Journal of Business Law, Cambridge Law Journal, Australian Journal of Asian Law, Hong Kong Law Journal and Singapore Journal of Legal Studies. In addition, he holds an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies (National University of Singapore) and a B.A. in Philosophy (University of London).

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chan, G.K.Y. The Relevance and Value of Confucianism in Contemporary Business Ethics. J Bus Ethics 77, 347–360 (2008).

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