Ethics, Misconduct and the Financial Services Industry
Towards a Theory of Moral Business
This book explores how ethics and the moral context of business have evolved
historically in inf luential management theories and concepts. It looks at how
managerial thought accommodates morality, values, and ethics and demonstrates
the emerging patterns of ethical conduct to illustrate how moral aspects
of management and organizational practice can become peripheral.
The author examines a diverse range of data sources such as the most seminal
books in management and academic papers published in the mainstream
academic literature. The readings selected in the process are subject to critical
analysis and are complemented by an exploratory study of the financial services
industry, based on semistructured in-depth interviews. The uniqueness of the
proposed approach comes first from the consolidation of many perspectives
such as management, organization studies, and business anthropology rather
than focusing on one particular subdiscipline; second, from using a mixed
methodology, combining literature reviews with empirical, exploratory research
based on interviews; and third from including a narrative context in the
analysis and proposed future theory framework.
This book will appeal to students, researchers, and scholars who teach ethics
in the fields of economics or business. It is useful for advancing theory and
research on moral management and as a resource for management practitioners
looking to create business practices fostering moral sensitivity. Those interested
in setting future development directions may also find the proposed
consolidation of theoretical and empirical evidence valuable for the design of
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
1. Traps for a moral management
1.1 Moral management against commercial ethics
1.2 Rigour of efficiency
2. What makes management moral
2.1 Behaving individuals
2.2 Prevailance of common interest and emotional control
2.3 A threat of gradual justification of self-interest
2.4 Dominant features of moral management
3. Organized morality
3.1 Morality as contract
3.2 Corporation as a moral vehicle
3.3 Corporate leadership relieving laymen ignorance
3.4 Good or bad managers in a workplace
3.5 Organization conditioning morality
4. Dominant narratives – relativizing a moral imperative
4.1 Rise of business ethics and dominating utilitarian undertones
4.2 A rule of market
4.3 Moral markets
4.4 A limited liability morality
5 More compliance less moralizing. A case of financial services
5.1 The context of the financial crisis
5.2 Morality outside of a day-to-day practice?
5.3 A danger of systemic dysfunctionalities and centrality of the regulatory doctrine
5.4 Future avenues
6. A possibility of a moral theory
6.2 A narrative theory of moral business.
6.3. Moral vagueness of the rule of organizing?
Financial services study - method and data collection
Considered influential papers
Themes in key management and organization conferences
Barbara Fryzel is an economist and Associate Professor of Management at
Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She is a laureate of the Foundation for
Polish Science for the postdoc fellowship at the University College London as
well as a management practitioner with business development and corporate
advisory experience in multinational firms. Her research interests cover corporate
social responsibility, behavioural ethics, and organizational culture.
"The book aims at developing a new analytical as well as historical framework for understanding and enhancing our corporate civilization. Barbara sets out her vision of moral behaviour and discusses the changes needed to using business as a force for good. Managers need to embrace a sense of purpose beyond making profits and to find new business opportunities to meet society’s needs.
The emerging proposal advocated by the Author is to favour the transition from Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Civil Responsibility. Companies, in fact, are not purely private associations, rather they are little governments created by the State legislation to advance public ends.
Barbara provides corporate executives clear evidence that taking ethics not just as a constraint to their behaviour, but as an argument of their objective function constitutes the surest path to success, especially in such turbulent times as the present ones. This is a book for the realist with conscience." — Stefano Zamagni, Professor of economics,University of Bologna and SAIS Europe, Johns Hopkins University