Business ethics

Cambridge dictionary defines business ethics as “the rules, principles, and standards of deciding what is morally right or wrong when working.” So, business ethics refers to the implementation of appropriate business practices and policies in the workplace.

C. Patton, a WCC student in Philosophy 301, decided to explore the factors that lead to ethical or motivated blindness, specifically in the business realm.

Patton says “‘Ethical blindness” is a term that has become used to describe a temporary state of inability to recognize the ethicality of a decision” (Kump, 2022).

Patton’s thesis was that “an isolated incident of motivated blindness may never come to light, but if such incidents persist within a culture, they pile and escalate, leading to larger and more conspicuous ethical collapses.”

When Patton used OneSearch for his specific topic, he likely searched “motivated blindness” using quotation marks, so his result list brought up that specific phrase.

His final project included a literature review, interviews, and an original survey that could monitor an organization’s ethical culture.

Patton gave as examples the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the story of the Ford Pinto (citing Max H. Bazerman’s articles from 2011, from Harvard Business Review; and from a 2020 book, “Whistleblowing, Communication and Consequences: Lessons from the Norwegian National Lottery.”

Business databases, particularly Business Source Premier and JSTOR Business Journals, will have peer-reviewed articles on business ethics including the Journal of Corporate Citizenship and the Journal of Business Ethics.

A few useful book titles in our library (on the second floor of the Learning Commons) include “The Sage Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society,”Business Ethics: What Everyone Needs to Know,”  and “Complexity: A Key Idea for Business and Society.”

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