Individuals, Groups, and Business Ethics (Hardback) book cover

Individuals, Groups, and Business Ethics

By Chris Provis

© 2011 – Routledge

186 pages

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About the Book

Corporate social responsibility has become a heavily discussed topic in business ethics. Identifying some generally accepted moral principles as a basis for discussion, Individuals, Groups, and Business Ethics examines ethical dimensions of our relationships with families, friends and workmates, the extent to which we have obligations as members of teams and communities, and how far ethics may ground our commitments to organisations and countries. It offers an innovative analysis that differentiates amongst our genuine ethical obligations to individuals, counterfeit obligations to identity groups, and complex role-based obligations in organised groups. It suggests that often individuals need intuitive moral judgment developed by experience, reflection and dialogue to identify the individual obligations that emerge for them in complex group situations. These situations include some where people have to discern what their organisations’ corporate social responsibilities imply for them as individuals, and other situations where individuals have to deal with conflicts amongst their obligations or with efforts by other people to exploit them. This book gives an integrated, analytical account of how our obligations are grounded, provides a major theoretical case study of such ethical processes in action, and then considers some extended implications.


‘By exploring the dynamics of moral responsibility, influence, and decision making in groups, this book offers a realistic picture of how people make decisions under the influence of others in organizations.’Joanne Ciulla, University of Richmond, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Ethical Principles and Ethical Decision Making 2. Ethics, Society and Individuals 3. Individuals, Expectations and Groups 4. Institutions, Norms and Ethics 5. A Hypothetical Case: Endeavour Organisation 6. Conflicts of Obligations 7. Obligations, Exploitation and identity 8. Decisions, Groups and Reasons

About the Author

Chris Provis studied and taught philosophy, then worked for some years in industrial relations before joining the School of Management at the University of South Australia. Specialising in business ethics, he has published numerous research papers, as well as as Ethics and Organisational Politics (2004).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Business Ethics

Originating from both normative and descriptive philosophical backgrounds, business ethics implicitly regulates areas of behaviour which influence decision making, judgment, behaviour and objectives of the leadership and employees of an organization. This series seeks to analyse current and leading edge issues in business ethics, and the titles within it examine and reflect on the philosophy of business, corporations and organizations pertaining to all aspects of business conduct. They are relevant to the conduct of both individuals and organizations as a whole.

Based in academic theory but relevant to current organizational policy, the series welcomes contributions addressing topics including: ethical strategy; sustainable policies and practices; finance and accountability; CSR; employee relations and workers rights; law and regulation; economic and taxation systems.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Office Management