Ethics at work: the discourse of business ethics: an investigation into ethical discourse in UK higher education and organisational contexts

Cook, Roger (2014) Ethics at work: the discourse of business ethics: an investigation into ethical discourse in UK higher education and organisational contexts. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Abstract

This thesis aims to make an original contribution to the development of effective ethical discourse at work through the development of a conceptual model which reframes existent philosophical ideas and moral perspectives. Its intention is both to facilitate better personal understanding, and to enable improved moral communication between individuals, workforce communities and organisations. This is needed because the impacts of the banking crisis, and continued incidences of corporate wrongdoing are exposing the weaknesses in managerial capitalism, and provide evidence that the rhetoric of business values is sometimes at odds with reality. Contemporary organisations are also increasingly being required to explain and defend the values which shape their business conduct, an irreversible trend driven by factors such as the growth of the social media, increasing private ownership of wealth, shareholder activism, and stakeholder empowerment. The thesis presents a framework for ethical analysis and discourse.

The research takes the form of transdisciplinary enquiry. Applying a critical realist perspective, relevant bodies of literature are reviewed, leading to the creation of a proposed analytical framework and an associated process model. It is proposed that together these comprise the tools to help the development of the ethical manager. Using a case study approach, the framework is first trialled among postgraduate professional MBA students. Based on initial research findings, a developed framework is then adapted and field-tested for relevance to practising managers in diverse organisational contexts, and potential further uses and applications considered.

Concept testing demonstrates that a flexible managerial model of ethical analysis the thesis [proposes] is successfully developed for use by business practitioners, consultants and business ethicists. Management as a discipline is pragmatic in nature, drawing in an eclectic manner on differing academic disciplines, and the proposed model is similarly derived from a transdisciplinary approach to business ethics which seeks to gain insights from diverse disciplines, drawing from both moral philosophy and developmental psychology to create an original PREP framework and associated process model.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Business and finance
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2015 14:55
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2016 16:01
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1102

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