Theoretical Issues in Management Ethics

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In the following Chapter (26), Theoretical issues in management ethics, Joseph A. Petrick confronts the central theoretical issues in management ethics. As he points out, managers may think, mistakenly, that they are unaffected by ethical theories even as their conduct suggests a tacit acceptance of a specific perspective. Clearing up theoretical muddles in management ethics may contribute to enhancing a manager’s awareness of moral responsibilities. Outlining major management theories, Petrick underscores the close relationship between the descriptive and normative dimensions of management—a relationship also encountered in the preceding two chapters. He reminds us how these theories of management may relate to debates over shareholder versus stakeholder responsibility. Summarizing the major schools of moral philosophy, Petrick focuses first on the relationship between the theoretical perspectives on ethics and management theories, and then on a more fundamental question: To what extent can theory guide conduct?

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