The Politics of Ethics: Methods for Acting, Learning, and Sometimes Fighting with Others in Addressing Ethics Problems in Organizational Life

The Politics of Ethics: Methods for Acting, Learning, and Sometimes Fighting with Others in Addressing Ethics Problems in Organizational Life

The Politics of Ethics: Methods for Acting, Learning, and Sometimes Fighting with Others in Addressing Ethics Problems in Organizational Life

The Politics of Ethics: Methods for Acting, Learning, and Sometimes Fighting with Others in Addressing Ethics Problems in Organizational Life

Synopsis

Can ethical character be stimulated and enabled? Cognitive understanding of organizational ethics issues is important and necessary, but not sufficient. Ethical behavior does not emerge automatically. Effective political method is necessary. While it may be difficult to teach ethical character, nonetheless, skill development with respect to joined ethics understanding and action-learning methods can help us develop the skills and confidence we need to actualize our ethical characters and social concerns. An action-learning approach to organizational ethics can help stimulate and enable ethical character.

Excerpt

R. Edward Freeman

The hallmark of recent work in business ethics is the integration of thinking in the humanities with sound business theory and practice. No longer is it useful to make the "business ethics is an oxymoron" joke, nor is it helpful to separate out "business" from "ethics." the scholars who have published books in this series have without exception contributed to the deeper and more integrated understanding of how business and ethics go together.

Richard Nielsen has taken this line of thinking a giant step forward by opening up a dialogue between business thinkers, literary figures and corporate managers trying to act ethically. in doing so, he has written at once a very practical and a very theoretical book. The Politics of Ethics, is just what it says: an exploration of the difficult human problems of thinking and acting ethically in large organizations. Ethics cannot be separated from politics, just as it cannot be separated from the day-to-day life of business.

By juxtaposing Faust and Socrates with Eichman and Richard iii and by showing how understanding these figures is relevent to the ethical situation of the modern corporate manager, Nielsen has written a book that is both action-guiding and literary. Scores of cases are intertwined with the best thinking from the "action learning" school of social sciences and Nielsen's reading of our literary figures to offer a rich source of insight for managers and scholars.

The anchor of Nielsen's work with many organizations around the world has always been dialogue. in this book he shows us how to have better conversations about acting ethically, and he points out the diffi-

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