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Expressive Business Ethics

Business Ethics

ISBN: 978-1-78973-684-7, eISBN: 978-1-78973-683-0

ISSN: 2514-1759

Publication date: 7 June 2019

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the normative importance of what attitudes our actions express to others. Business is not conducted in a vacuum – rather, it is conducted against a background schema of social meaning. This chapter argues that the public meaning of our actions, what our actions express, is normatively important. The piece imports familiar norms regarding expressions from interpersonal morality to business ethics, such as those surrounding insult, blame, and gratitude. It argues that many of ethicists’ gripes across a range of business ethics topics – from disproportionate compensation to immoral investing – can fruitfully be analyzed from an expressive perspective.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgment

For comments and suggestions on different parts of the chapter, I would like to thank Brian Berkey and Alan Strudler. For a number of fruitful discussions on the topic, I thank Vikram Bhargava, David Dick, and Carson Young.

Citation

Caulfield, M. (2019), "Expressive Business Ethics", Business Ethics (Business and Society 360, Vol. 3), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 123-153. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2514-175920190000003005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited