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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 36, Issue 1, Spring 2017

Patricia Grant, Surendra Arjoon, Peter McGhee
Pages 41-65
DOI: 10.5840/bpej2016113046

Reconciling Ethical Theory and Practice
Toward Developing a Business Ethics Pedagogical Model

Recent work in ethical theory brings into question the ability of master-principle theories (utilitarianism, deontology, rights and duties, and social contracts) to provide guidance for normative behaviour and ethical reflection. Business ethics education and corporate ethics programmes are still heavily influenced by these theories which have been found to be deficient in adequately dealing with ethical reflection and guiding practice. There appears to be a dissonance between the fields of ethical theory and business ethics education. This paper explores this dissonance by developing a business ethics pedagogical model which compliments master-principle theories with an enhanced or enlightened virtue ethics that incorporates the notions of pluralism, particularism, and intuitionism. Practical insights are provided through interviews with a sample of thirty-three directors in New Zealand.