Character and Environment: The Status of Virtues in Organizations

Journal of Business Ethics

Using evidence from experimental psychology, some social psychologists, moral philosophers and organizational scholars claim that character traits do not exist and, hence, that the moral psychology that underlies virtue ethics is empirically inadequate. Hence, the virtue ethics tradition should dispose of the notion of character to accommodate the empirical evidence. This paper systematically addresses the debate between dispositionalists and situationists about the existence, status and properties of character traits and their manifestations in human behavior, with the ultimate goal of responding to the question whether virtue ethicists need to abandon the very enterprise of building a character-based moral theory in business ethics and organizational behavior. In the course of this paper, the claim that the situationist argument relies on a misinterpretation of the experimental evidence is defended.

(My publication)Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 by malzola
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