Chapter 1: Bowie’s Management Ethics: An Alternate View
Richard T. De George Norman Bowie has exerted an enormous influence on the field of business ethics. As one of the pioneers in this area his influence was especially strong in defining the content and parameters of the field. He did this in two ways. First, in his capacity as Executive Director of the American Philosophical Association he received and was the principal investigator of a grant (1977–1980) from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop guidelines for courses in business ethics, which was still a vague subject with few courses and no textbooks. He assembled an interdisciplinary committee composed of philosophers, professors of business and businessmen to work on the project – stamping the field from the start as an interdisciplinary one, rather than as simply a subfield of applied ethics in philosophy departments.1 The second way he helped shape the field was by teaming up with Tom Beauchamp to edit one of the first anthologies in business ethics, which became one of the leading texts in the subject (Beauchamp and Bowie 1979). In the early days of the field, it was not unusual for papers in business ethics to cite only works from that text, the assumption being that there one found the best and most important articles in the area. Beyond these two initial central influences, the Beauchamp and Bowie text has over the years continued in successive revised editions to both lead and reflect the development of the field. In 2005 Bowie published a short...
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