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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 36, Issue 3, Fall 2017

Mark S. Schwartz, W. Michael Hoffman
Pages 297-328
DOI: 10.5840/bpej20179762

Ethical Decision Making Surveyed through the Lens of Moral Imagination

This paper attempts to build on the contribution to moral imagination theory by Patricia Werhane by further integrating moral imagination with new theoretical developments that have taken place in the business ethics field. To accomplish this objective, part one will review the concept of moral imagination, from its definitional origins to its full theoretical conceptualization. Part two will provide a brief literature review of how moral imagination has been applied in empirical research. Part three will analyze and apply the construct of moral imagination as it relates to the key process stages of ethical decision making including awareness, judgment, intention, and behavior. Immoral imagination is then discussed, along with other behavioral ethics concepts as they relate to moral imagination. The paper concludes with potential future research directions, as well as teaching and managerial implications for the moral imagination construct.