Edited by Abbas J. Ali
Chapter 5: The nature of business social ethics in mainstream and Islamic worldview
The theme of business ethics is distinct from that of social ethics when applied to business, economics and finance as interrelated yet separate academic disciplines. Business ethics, studied by itself, is a partitioned field of behavioral finance that marks the study of microeconomic business ethics independently of social ethics. Business ethics relates to corporate social responsibility and good corporate governance as company practices. On the other hand, the understanding of social ethics, especially in business and finance, invokes a study of ethics that is integrated with behavioral aspects of business, financial and economic decisions. Business ethics inclusive of social ethics are not independent: the two are socially embedded as an endogenous social force. Endogenous relations (hence, endogeneity) means systemic, as in to be invoked by consciousness. Contrarily, an exogenous aspect of ethics is its presence and application outside a system of relations, as by policy imposition. The intellection around endogenous integration of ethics and the imminent ethical theory in behavioral economic and financial decision making and social choices is of a recent genre. Such a study finds its roots in the area of ethics and economics in the first place (Sen, 2002). Its subsequent derivation in the field of endogenous ethics and finance and business has not yet entered substantive research activity. Thus, in the literature on business ethics, the field of social ethics is not substantially developed. Therefore, the social embedding of business and finance in the venue of social ethicality has not been understood as an intellectual investigation.
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