Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2018
Teaching the Social Meanings of Business Ethics
As a way to assist in teaching business ethics to undergraduates, this paper applies Sally Haslanger’s philosophical method for analyzing the social meanings of concepts to the social meaning of business ethics. The paper views a range of social meanings of the concept business ethics, arrayed along Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. Using another dimension of Haslanger’s method, that social meanings can be changed, it then argues that the social meaning of business ethics should change. The social meanings of business ethics at the lower Kohlberg stages are thin and superficial, and do not take into account the depth and complexity of the actual practice of business ethics.