Everyday Business Ethics

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In this paper, co-authored with Rosemarie Monge, Associate Professor Ethics and Business Law, OPUS College of Business, we respond to three trends in contemporary normative business ethics. The first is to work deductively to apply a single moral theory to individual cases, an approach that has been dubbed as “high theory.” The second is the relative emphasis on political philosophy and questions about corporations. The third is the view that the norms of business are separate from, and, in many cases, more permissive than the norms of everyday life. In response, we argue that a central task of business ethics is to help practitioners determine what is the right thing to do, and that the resources of everyday morality are capacious enough to provide a framework to help guide individual actors across a wide range of commercial activity.