Rethinking Business Ethics in an Age of Crisis
Studies in TransAtlantic Business Ethics series
Edited by Knut J. Ims and Lars J.T. Pedersen
Chapter 13: The future of business ethics: a structured dialogue between the participants
This book has addressed questions of relevance to contemporary business ethics. In various ways, the chapters herein are concerned with ethical issues that pertain to the relationship between business and the greater good – how the two may conflict, as well as how business can be transformed in order to align the goals of business and society. In this respect, this book is also oriented towards the future of business in general, and the future of business ethics in particular. In this concluding chapter, we turn to the latter point. Business ethics as a field has matured and developed considerably. This is in part due to developments in the problem matter that business ethics is designed to address. As business practice becomes more globalized, as issues related to the climate become more pressing, as financial markets have a bigger – and to a significant degree detrimental – impact on business and society; business ethics develops in order to account for these developments and to be suited to address the challenges that arise from these developments. In addition, however, business ethics changes as a consequence of developing needs for competence in business. The professionalization of tools and approaches related to business ethics and corporate social responsibility – ISO-standards, reporting initiatives and frameworks, and so on – have introduced a set of competences that businesses expect business students to be familiar with. Such demand side developments also influence how business ethics develops.
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