Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 24, 2013

Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Meeting

James D. Carlson, Adam D. Bailey, Ronald K. Mitchell
Pages 2-5

Competition and Morality

We review an argument that proposes two moralities—“everyday” moral norms and “adversarial” moral norms—are required for business contexts. We take issue with an implication of this idea, namely that competitive actions do not need to be in accord with “everyday” moral norms. After showing that the argument for two moralities in business does not succeed, we propose a distinction between two types of competitive actions: principled, those actions which comport with every day morality, and merely self-interested, those actions that do not comport with every day morality. The merits of this distinction are discussed.