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The Worldwide Academic Field of Business Ethics: Scholars’ Perceptions of the Most Important Issues

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Abstract

We conducted an international survey of 211 scholars with expertise in business ethics. Each respondent was asked to identify the three most important issues that business ethics academia will face in the coming decade. Using content analytic procedures, responses were categorized and analyzed for commonalities. The results suggest that the most important issues facing business ethics academia in the future will be the following: (1) issues relating to business ethics education such as curriculum, pedagogy, faculty, and accreditation (2) the credibility of the business ethics field, (3) environmental issues, (4) issues relating to business ethics research such as research tools and quality of business ethics research (5) the decline of ethical behavior in society and organizations, (6) corporate social responsibility (CSR), (7) globalization, and (8) the institutionalization of ethics into business. We maintain that these issues have important teaching and research implications for the future sustainability of the business ethics discipline.

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Notes

  1. It is important to note that while we asked each respondent to list the three most important issues that business ethics academia will face in the coming decade, some participants only listed one or two issues. Consequently, we received a total of 559 issues instead of the expected 633 issues from the 211 participants (i.e., 3 x 211 = 633).

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Correspondence to Chad Albrecht.

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Holland, D., Albrecht, C. The Worldwide Academic Field of Business Ethics: Scholars’ Perceptions of the Most Important Issues. J Bus Ethics 117, 777–788 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1718-y

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