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The Role of Ethics in 21st Century Organizations


The twenty-first century has seen its share of ethical failures, which brings into question what the role of ethics is. Past experience demonstrates ethics functioning as a reactive measure to a permanent consequence, the equivalent of pointing at an accident and commenting, “The driver should not have been going so fast.” While such an observation may be accurate, it does little to correct the situation or prevent further ones from occurring. Ethics must function as more than a guide; they must be preventative in nature and determine a correct course of action for individuals and organizations. They must teach and serve as a qualitative standard.

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Correspondence to William H. Bishop.

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Bishop, W.H. The Role of Ethics in 21st Century Organizations. J Bus Ethics 118, 635–637 (2013).

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  • Ethics
  • Globalization
  • Organizations