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Business Ethics as Practice

Representation, Reflexivity and Performance Edited by Chris Carter, Business School, The University of Edinburgh, UK, Stewart Clegg, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia and Aston Business School, UK, Martin Kornberger, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, University of St Andrews, UK and University of Innsbruck, Austria, Stephan Laske, University of Innsbruck, Austria and Martin Messner, HEC Paris, France and University of Innsbruck, Austria
This book shows that in business, moral questions are not just theoretical; they arise in practice and have to be dealt with in practice. It illustrates that ‘ethics as practice’ is an important area of study because it focuses on how ethics are enacted and embedded in everyday organizational reality. In contrast to the approaches dominating mainstream literature, the authors of this thought provoking volume focus on the tensions, paradoxes and ambiguities that underpin ethics in practice.
Extent: 256 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84542 975 1
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  • Business and Management
  • Critical Management Studies
  • Organisation Studies
This book shows that in business, moral questions are not just theoretical; they arise in practice and have to be dealt with in practice. It illustrates that ‘ethics as practice’ is an important area of study because it focuses on how ethics are enacted and embedded in everyday organizational reality. In contrast to the approaches dominating mainstream literature, the authors of this thought provoking volume focus on the tensions, paradoxes and ambiguities that underpin ethics in practice.

Recent corporate scandals such as those involving Enron, Worldcom and Parmalat have brought to the fore a problem which mainstream economics and management studies have long ignored: the fact that neither rules, regulations, nor the laws of the market can ensure ethical behaviour. The authors of this fascinating book take the tension between ‘morals or money’ and ‘profits or principles’ as the starting point of their investigations into how ethical problems emerge and are managed. They show that ethics are at stake in ambiguous situations where different, often contradicting, sets of moral values and rules clash.

Business Ethics as Practice will prove a stimulating and fascinating read for scholars of organization theory, organizational behaviour, business and management, and more generally, humanities and the social sciences. Business practitioners will also find much illuminating material to reflect upon and consider within this book.
‘Conceiving of business-in-society issues as integral to the responsibilities of practice, this timely collection offers a series of provocative empirical and conceptual contributions to their illumination. Distinguished by its international orientation, interdisciplinary approach and theoretical sophistication, the chapters explore the personal, professional and organizational dilemmas of the ethics of business and public administration.’
– Hugh Willmott, University of Cardiff, UK

‘The study of business ethics is finally coming of age. The fascinating chapters in this book move us away from codes and prescriptions, and towards a study of what people actually do. Written by an international set of contributors, it will provide a range of new ways to think about the most important issue in business.’
– Martin Parker, University of Leicester, UK
Contributors: O. Babeau, T. Beschorner, D. Bunzel, C. Carter, S. Clegg, P. du Gay, D.E. Esser, M. Kornberger, S. Laske, S. Llewelyn, M. Messner, M. Müller, K. Oppegaard, A. Rasche, C. Rhodes, S. Seemann, M. Statler, W. Vandekerckhove, R. Westwood
Contents:

1. Introduction
Chris Carter, Stewart Clegg, Martin Kornberger, Stephan Laske and Martin Messner

PART I: ORDER AND REPRESENTATION
2. Office as a Vocation? The Ethos of Bureaucratic Office and Public Service
Paul du Gay

3. Granting Disorder a Place in Ethics: Organization’s Deviant Practices and Ethics
Olivier Babeau

4. Being Accountable and Being Responsible
Martin Messner

5. Letting Knowledge Go: Ethics and Representation of the Other in International and Cross-Cultural Management
Carl Rhodes and Robert Westwood

PART II: RELEXIVITY AND NORMS
6. Social Standards: Hybrids in Reflexive Modernity
Martin Müller and Thomas Beschorner

7. Managing for Compliance and Integrity in Practice
Andreas Rasche and Daniel E. Esser

8. Meeting Responsibilities ‘On the Stage’ and Claiming Rights ‘Behind the Scenes’: The Re-Casting of Companies
Sue Llewelyn

PART III: PERFORMING ETHICS
9. Integrity: Talking the Walk Instead of Walking the Talk
Wim Vandekerckhove

10. Practical Wisdom: Integrating Ethics and Effectiveness in Organizations
Matt Statler and Karin Oppegaard

11. The Constitution of Ethics: Discourse, Practice and Conflict in a Health-Care Center
Silke Seemann, Stephan Laske and Marin Kornberger

12. The Guest as a Friendly Foe? Hotel Service Encounters In-between the Face and the Gaze of the Guest
Dirk Bunzel

Index