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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 30, Issue 1/2, 2011

Sherwin Klein
Pages 137-173
DOI: 10.5840/bpej2011301/26

Platonic Reflections on Global Business Ethics

In part 1 of the paper, I develop a Platonic business ethic, emphasizing Plato’s Republic. I approach business ethics from a virtue ethics position, and I attempt to show that a Platonic craftsmanship model infuses a corporation with a type of managerial wisdom and justice, molds temperate and courageous corporate characters, and entails a morally fine type of self-interest. I also show that it is basic to two influential management theories. In part 2, I use Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom to show that the craftsmanship model is central to the concept of development. This concept is important in ethical discussions of both globalization and transnational corporations. Thus, I attempt to globalize Platonic business ethics using a craftsmanship model. In my concluding remarks, I attempt to show that the Plato/Sen position on development can be illustrated by both American and non-American capitalist firms functioning in our globalized world.

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