How to Tell the History of Business Ethics

Gabriel Abend
2016 zfwu. Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik. Journal for Business, Economics and Ethics  
The history of U.S. business ethics and CSR exhibits some key normative continuities and stability. I argue that these normative continuities and stability are underlain by moral background discontinuities and variation. The former I call "first-order" stability and the latter I call "second-order" variation. The second-order or moral background level is where the action is-at least, the action that sheds most light on our understanding of society, morality, and the moral foundations of
more » ... ndations of capitalist societies. Next, I consider one facet of the moral background that might be of special interest to business ethics and CSR scholars: the demarcation of morality. How are boundaries between moral and non-moral things drawn? How are they institutionalized and policed? How do they vary across time and place? However, I also show why these empirical questions are conceptually trickier than they may appear at first sight.
doi:10.5771/1439-880x-2016-1-42 fatcat:eeqtl3lnw5ggjjqqkqxrjny2jy