Business Ethics and Organizational Architecture

25 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2000

See all articles by James A. Brickley

James A. Brickley

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Clifford W. Smith

Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester

Jerold L. Zimmerman

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Date Written: November 2000

Abstract

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that can trace its roots back at least 2500 years. Since the time of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle a succession of theories has been advanced to provide a set of principles of human conduct. As examples, egoism argues that an act is appropriate if and only if it promotes an individual's long-term interests; utilitarianism suggests that behaviors should produce the greatest balance of good over bad for everyone affected; Kant argued that only good deeds matter?the nature of the act should be judged, not its outcome; ethical relativism holds that moral principles cannot be valid for everyone?people should follow the conventions of their own group. Even a cursory review of major ethical philosophies yields an immediate conclusion: Despite considerable effort by some of history's best minds, there is no consensus as to which behaviors are ethical and which are unethical.

Suggested Citation

Brickley, James A. and Smith, Clifford W. and Zimmerman, Jerold L., Business Ethics and Organizational Architecture (November 2000). Simon Business School Working Paper No. FR 00-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=250947 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.250947

James A. Brickley (Contact Author)

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Carol Simon Hall 3-160L
Rochester, NY 14627
United States
585-275-3433 (Phone)
585-442-6323 (Fax)

Clifford W. Smith

Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester ( email )

Carol Simon Hall 3-202C
Rochester, NY 14627
United States
585-275-3217 (Phone)
585-442-6323 (Fax)

Jerold L. Zimmerman

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States
585-275-3397 (Phone)
585-442-6323 (Fax)

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