Moral Intelligence – A Framework for Understanding Moral Competences

  • Carmen TannerEmail author
  • Markus Christen
Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 32)


In light of several corporate ethical scandals and the financial crisis many people are asking what can be done to promote moral behavior and to prevent similar transgressions in the future. In this chapter, we argue that beyond cultural and contextual influences, changes do also require agents who are skilled in how to deal with moral issues and how to turn moral standards into actions. In order to specify the abilities that facilitate moral functioning, the present work is designed to put forth a theoretical framework of “Moral Intelligence” which integrates current literature and research on moral decision-making, social cognition and self-regulation theory. The framework’s elementary concepts (which are: the moral compass, moral commitment, moral sensitivity, moral problem solving and moral resoluteness) and the underlying mechanisms are detailed. At the end, the practical value of the advocated model and the question of how to enhance moral intelligence is also briefly discussed.


Moral Judgment Moral Identity Moral Behavior Moral Standard Moral Motivation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Banking and Finance, Center for Responsibility in FinanceUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Biomedical EthicsUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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