Table of Contents

The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good

The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited by Kleio Akrivou and Alejo José G Sison

The evolution of modern capitalist society is increasingly being marked by an undeniable and consistent tension between pure economic and ethical ways of valuing and acting. This book is a collaborative and cross-disciplinary contribution that challenges the assumptions of capitalist business and society. It ultimately reflects on how to restore benevolence, collaboration, wisdom and various forms of virtuous deliberation amongst all those who take part in the common good, drawing inspiration from European history and continental philosophical traditions on virtue.

Chapter 7: Integrated habitus for the common good of the firm: a radically humanistic conception of organizational habitus with a systemic human integrity orientation

Kleio Akrivou, Oluyemisi Bolade-Ogunfodun and Adeyinka Adewale

Subjects: business and management, business ethics and trust, business leadership, corporate social responsibility


This chapter builds on the fact that capitalism’s habituated way of valuing downgrades the importance of historical, cultural and ethical foundations and the economy/business sphere of action (Hanssen, Chapter 3 in this volume). This contribution is guided by the inquiry of how ‘habitus’ can instil a virtuous purpose in persons and practices, albeit by a radically humanistic pluralism. Discussing how an ethical organizational culture is a core virtue ethics foundation influencing the morality of persons, we offer an ethically demanding conception of organizational culture, arguing that it enables the integral growth of virtuous persons. Its foundation is personal virtue (Koehn, Chapter 13 in this volume), and that virtue grounds dialogue and dialogue grounds virtue. On this dual foundation basis of an ‘integrated habitus’ we analyse these two as follows. First, a novel understanding and valuing of the self and human action, as inter-processual self (IPS), is theorized. This is presented in detail in a later chapter (Akrivou and Or—n, Chapter 11 in this volume). Second, the moral significance of collaborative work/praxis (Sison, Chapter 6 in this volume; Moore, Chapter 8 in this volume) is in need of dialogic ethics with a clear humanist orientation. The effects of this radically humanistic conception of an ethical organizational culture on the common good of the firm are explored. We offer therefore an alternative pathway for virtuous social/collective action, away from excessive individualist agency in social systems, albeit still preserving the importance of each individual (human) person.

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