Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 323–341 | Cite as

Connected Moral Agency in Organizational Ethics

  • George W. WatsonEmail author
  • R. Edward Freeman
  • Bobby Parmar


We review both the aspects of values-related research that complicate ideations of what we ought to do, as well as the psychological impediments to forming beliefs about the way things are. We find that more traditional moral theories are without solid empirical footing in the psychology of human values. Consequently, we revise the notion of values to align with their socially symbolic utility in self-affirmation and reformulate our understandings of moral agency to allow for the practicalities of context, circumstance, and connectedness. We close by discussing the research and practical implications for these revisions.


moral agency moral values self-deception moral psychology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • George W. Watson
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Edward Freeman
    • 2
  • Bobby Parmar
    • 2
  1. 1.Management and MarketingSouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleU.S.A.
  2. 2.The Darden SchoolUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleVirginia

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