This book is part of the core materials project of the 'European Ethics Network'. This project has made it possible to produce texts and fundamental frameworks for the development of courses in professional ethics, business ethics, egineering ethics and medical ethics. In this volume on business ethics we try to present a coherent vision which takes into account the tension between three levels of analysis. The first chapter, written by Joseph Lozano, focuses on the interaction between companies and society, with special attention to their social responsibility. In the second chapter Jef Van Gerwen treats the meso-level of analysis: of companies as organizations which are in a process of becoming institutions. In this text he gives a survey of different ways of approaching corporate ethics: social contract theory, stakeholder model, corporate governance ethics, the cognitive-developmental approach, the Socratic method and the narrative method, with a special attention to discernment and the problem of tragic choices.
In the first part of the third chapter, which is a transition from the meso to the micro level, Thomas Brytting describes how companies can function as moral spaces in which individuals can acquire moral competence. According to him companies function as moral spaces in which individuals develop the dialogical ability to perceive, reflect and act on moral issues with preserved integrity. In the second part Johan Verstraeten analyzes business ethics on the individual level. He demonstrates that it is not only important to make concrete moral decisions, but also to integrate moral choices in a meaningful life.
Publisher: Peeters Publishers