Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Axiology and Business Ethics

  • Rem EdwardsEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_170-1



Businesspersons understand that there are many kinds of goodness in addition to moral goodness – good workers, good managers, good products, good services, good training, and good profits. But what does “good” mean? The best available answer was formulated by Robert S. Hartman (1910–1973), who created formal axiology. Axiology is value theory. This includes ethics, aesthetics, logic, and every discipline having ideal norms or standards. Formal axiology focuses on formal patterns of value and evaluation and then applies them to the concrete particulars of what we value (values) and how we value (evaluations). The headings below identify its main features, all highly relevant to the business world.

Formal Definitions of “Good,” “Better,” “Best,” and “Ought”

Formal axiology says that anything is “good” if...

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  1. Edwards RB (2010) The essentials of formal axiology. University Press of America. Robert S. Hartman Institute, Lanham. http://www.hartmaninstitute.org Google Scholar
  2. Hartman RS (1967) The structure of value. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale and Edwardsville. Republished in 2011 by Wipf & Stock, Eugene, ORGoogle Scholar
  3. Hartman RS (1991) Applications of the science of axiology. In: Edwards RB, Davis JW (eds) Forms of value and valuation: theory and applications. University Press of America, Lanham. Republished in 2014 by Wipf & Stock, Eugene, ORGoogle Scholar
  4. Hartman RS (2006) The hartman value profile (HVP) manual of interpretation, 2nd edn. The Robert S. Hartman Institute, KnoxvilleGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robert S. Hartman InstituteKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.The University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA