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Business ethics, restrictions on employment and knowledge management

Cynthia M. Gayton (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)


ISSN: 0305-5728

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to address ethical and legal issues relating to employment contracts and the effect on knowledge transfer.


Relevant literature for business competition, learning and knowledge management and ethics were reviewed to prepare this paper.


This paper was an opportunity to express an opinion that employment contracts should reflect economic realities of both the employer and the employed to encourage high‐ethical standards.

Practical implications

Employers and the employed may be encouraged to forthrightly discuss issues relating to ethics and competition in light of changing economic conditions.


This paper offers a self‐help perspective for employees, making them more aware of employment contract terms and responsibilities. Employers may be encouraged to craft more progressive contracts to not only protect business proprietary information and maintain ethical integrity, but also assist employees in taking control of their futures.



Gayton, C.M. (2008), "Business ethics, restrictions on employment and knowledge management", VINE, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 174-183.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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