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Sorting out the mess. A Review of Definitions of Ethical Issues in Business

Författare och institution:
Niklas Egels-Zandén (Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI))
Utgiven i serie vid Göteborgs universitet:
GRI-rapport, ISSN 1400-4801; nr 2005:4
Antal sidor:
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Hundreds of concepts have been proposed for describing how ethical issues in business should be defined. In this paper, I review how the six most commonly used concepts have been defined. This is a contribution to the international business ethics research, since hardly any academic work has reviewed more than one or two concepts simultaneously. The results from the review show that differences as well as similarities exist between the concepts in terms of context, content and perspectives. In terms of context, I find that the empirical version of Corporate Social Performance (CSP) is the only concept consistently used in a certain context. In terms of perspective, a normative perspective is present in all six concepts and a shareholder perspective in four of the six concepts. I also find that an overwhelming majority of the conducted research is based on a normative perspective. In terms of content, the review shows that it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate Sustainable Development (SD), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Corporate Citizenship (CC) and Corporate Social Perfromance (CSP) from each other and that four of the six concepts have been vaguely defined and that all concepts have been inconsistently defined. Based on this, I conclude that the choice of perspective is more important than the choice of concept when defining ethical issues. I also conclude that lack of a consistent and coherent core definition in existing research makes it difficult to utilize the reviewed research for defining ethical issues in business, since it seems difficult to find a rationale for choosing between the different proposed definitions.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Ekonomi och näringsliv ->
ethical issues; business
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2007-03-12 08:41
Posten ändrad:
2007-05-04 13:25

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