Talk:Business ethics

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I removed a large section added by Cirm because (i) the first segments turned out to be identical copies of an earlier publication at http://www. creative invest .com/sri/corpeth1.html, and (ii) no sources were cited for any of the material. Cirm, if you'd like to discuss this, please feel welcome (use my talk page). I'm very happy to guide you as to how to add material based on external sources without actually plagiarising. I'm sure you meant well - you just need to change the way you use external material. Caravaca 05:48, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Section on religious ethics[edit]

I put the religious views section in its own section. To my knowledge, most philosophers discussing business ethics do not pay much attention to religious views on business ethics. --LMS

Religious views on business ethics fall within the category of cultural factors in business ethics; cultural factors in business ethics in turn fall within the field of international business ethics (not business ethics per se). At least, that's one way of looking at it, which is usefully strict and logical. Caravaca 13:05, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this is a wholly philosophical topic; there should, perhaps, be a political section, a philosophical section and a religious one. The views and discussion can probably divided like that. -- Sam
This breakdown is a bad idea. By all means introduce things like Islamic banking up front, but, this is a practical topic, and should be laid out according to the decisions made. Imagine the audience is a manager, not "most philosophers". Not every ethicist is a philosopher, that is an academic bias to say that, LMS. And, if religious authority, political ideology, or a philosophical stance hold some position on an issue, or consider some position particularly idious, that too can be laid out as part of the decision. Certainly it is part of business not to unnecessarily offend those who may become employees, customers, regulators or partners later on. So if making a decision a certain way will offend a whole group very badly, then, that is important input to the decision. EofT

I agree that business ethicists generally do not take a religious and casuistric view of ethical issues. They tend to look for general principles that can be applied in specific situations rather than depending on a particular religious casuistry. But some business people do depend on their religious casuistry and principles so we should probably mention them. My problem is as the article now stands the religious section says little more than "My religion has an extensive body of writing on the topic". If this is all that can be said, it should be erased. mydogategodshat 18:30, 7 Dec 2003 (UT )

il recently, this was a stub article; it doesn't need to be erased. Wikipedia is a work-in-progress, and a great many of our articles are stub articles. Your recent work is an excellent example of why this article should stay here; its very existence is encouraging others to contribute. I wrote about religious forms of business ethics rather than secular forms, merly because I know slightly more about the former rather than the latter. I encourage and welcome new contribution to this article from you and others! RK 18:55, Dec 7, 2003 (UTC)
Well I hope someone can turn the religious section into something more than praise for three religions. mydogategodshat 20:42, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)
A little searching turned up this essay on Sikh business ethics, which are certainly as worthy of inclusion as any of the three already there... but I'm a little leery of adding it myself with just that one source, given the extensive references given for the ones already in place. Maybe someone more familiar with the religion should do it, too. Aquillion 00:01, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Political section and philosophy of business[edit]

As for the political section, that is probably better in a philosophy of business article but we don't have one yet, so here is as good as anywhere. mydogategodshat 18:43, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)


This article is marked as needing attention, so I volunteer to give it. I just finished a university course in Business Ethics a week ago and received an "A," so I'm ready. However, this will be my first major contribution to Wikipedia. Are there others who want me to add the information in pieces or rewrite it as one complete overhaul? I plan to go more in-depth on the philosophers, cultures (religions), and modern issues. --Psients 18:20, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I think it would be best to add info in pieces, one section at a time. RK

Christian business ethics[edit]

The purpose of this article is to discuss Business ethics, the field of ethics that examines moral controversies relating to the social responsibilities of business practices, in any economic system. It looks at various business activities and asks "Is this ethically right or wrong?" There are a number of Christian philosophers and economists who have written on the intersection between Christian ethics and real-life practical business situations, and how Christian ethics affects the actual use of money, loans, business, banking, investment, etc. Such work should be discussed here.

I understand that a general statement by someone not involved in business ethics might be "the life of a Christian is informed by more than biblical laws, but also by the loving freedom that the gospel offers.", but that is vague, and is really not connected to the specific topic we are dealing with here. RK

This section still needs much work. Nevermind the fact that there is no specific reference to business ethics, it reads like a sermon and not an encyclopedia. Any ideas other than mine (i.e. scrapping it)? Edwardian 8 July 2005 22:05 (UTC)

An interesting issue to look is the ethics in which slave owners of America's south before the civil war lived by. Being Christian and to own slaves is a very large moral issue that can't really be justified but still took place in early America. Plantation owners had to run a business in which it was thier duty to make the largest profit but also they had to live as a Christian. To be a Christian one must show compassion and understanding to all men. Also Christianity and the bible states that all men are created equal. You can see the problem with this life. -- 10:52, 21 February 2006 (UTC)TD

Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business hosts a Business Ethics Forum each year. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacksoncj1 (talkcontribs) 16:16, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Does the Marxism stuff need to be here?[edit]

In an article that is focused on different theological positions regarding the Roman Catholic mass, it apparently isn't deemed necessary or appropriate to include a sentence saying that atheists generally take a dim view of all of those positions. An article on such a theological matter is, sensibly, presumed to concern itself with the view of people holding common premises, (see also transubstantiation!) and one could read about views that proceed from very different premises elsewhere. Why does not the same rule apply here? --Christofurio 00:18, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC)

The bias evident in many of the religious and political articles is a concession made to contributors who will not accept a plurality of perspectives and who engage in edit wars to ensure their beliefs are presented without criticism. The rest of the encyclopedia is subject to a higher standard. mydogategodshat 06:08, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
In my opinion the whole Political theorys section should be moved to the philosophy of business article. mydogategodshat 06:15, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
My point isn't that beliefs ought to be presented without criticism. The point concerns different sorts of criticism: within an ambit and outside of it. In other words, suppose I wrote an article about different groups of Star Trek fans -- some who think Kirk was a more interesting Captain of the Enterprise than Picard, some who think the opposite. Within that context, it would make perfect sense to discuss the criticisms that each of the two groups of fans has of the other, but not so much sense to say that "yet other people think the whol Star Trek franchise is worthless." To include the out-of-ambit group in this discussion seems pointless, just like including the view that there can be no such thing as business ethics in a discussion of ... business ethics! --Christofurio 16:40, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC) At any rate, I see that your bottom line conclusion is pretty much the same as mine as regards this article. I'll wait awhile longer before taking any action, though, to see if anyone is prepared to argue the point.
Im not sure that your distinction between contenscious issues within a topic and issues relating to the nature of the topic as a whole is a useful one in deciding the content of an article. I would think both should be discussed. To make either taboo will introduce bias. I think your analogy needs to be recast. I agree that an article on "types of star trek fans" is not the proper place to discuss broad issues of the value of the franchise. That should go in an article on star trek. What does belong in the "fans" issue is a critique of star trek "fanship". The exception to this rule is when an analysis of the fundamental basis of a topic is better handled in a separate article (such as "the nature of star trek fanship"). In this case a one sentence summary and a link is all that is needed in the "types of star trek fans" article. (By the way, Kirk is the more interesting captain. How can anyone find a guy that does little other than sit in his captains chair and say "engage" interesting). mydogategodshat 20:48, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
We're in agreement, and I've just made the change. I introduced a new sentence near the top re: the distinction between business ethics and the philosophy of biz, and with my phasers set to stun I've blanked the whole political-philosophy 101 stuff neat the bottom. --Christofurio 13:51, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)

Split article - separate religion article?[edit]

I support the view that the religious section should be split into a separate article at Wikipedia. Reasons:

  • The article is disproportionate as a result of the current situation. In fact the article needs a lot of expansion, but even that wouldn't justify the number of references to religious views. There are simply far too many issues in business ethics which have priority.
  • The religions cited fail to reflect a proper world view. For example, the position of Confucianism on the status and obligations of business people is critical to world history. Likewise the fact that business people did not belong to the highest castes in Hindu society is something that cannot be overlooked (caste is related to ethics).
  • I teach business ethics, and despite having a theological background, if I tried to force this much religion on my students, I know their reactions would be negative.
  • I wouldn't ever tell my students to read this article as it stands.

Of course, if the religious section is split into a separate article, it will immediately need flagging as failing to reflect a properly global POV. But I think the original author knows that and would like it expanded as such.Caravaca 13:05, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

After about 9 months of deliberation, I really think this split must be done. The previous discussion on this topic (see above) spreads over 3 years, with (it seems) one person on one side - hello RK, are you watching :) - who's a great Wikipedian, and a bunch of people I don't know on the other side (which I favour).

In addition to my above points from January, here's an argument clincher:

  • The sheer volume of the religion material is hindering development of this article. Because the article is oversized, people who want to make additions are reluctant to do so.
  • In fact the religion material needs development (e.g. Asian religions) just as much as the ethics stuff does, but this is also being hindered by the size of the article.

Caravaca 07:25, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Definition of "ethics"[edit]

Would it be appropriate to place a subsection on what business ethicists understand as ethics? Probably early in the article. Comparatively with what other type of research is conducted in philosophy on ethics and action, business ethics mainly consist in (in)validating the morality of business practices. When research is conducted on organizational ethical climate, for instance, the resulting studies aim at making clear what the determinants are of a climate that promotes employees' morality. So, basically, in business ethics, research is about moral acceptability of practices. Researchers then examine various organizational variables (i.e. leadership style) to see which ones play a role in boosting morality. In that sense, it is quite different from bioethics i.e. where part of the theoretical papers deal with how new contexts and new technologies impact on our understanding of what ethics mean. --Maflebouc 17:41, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

One could go a a meta-level above this, and ask why the emphasis of questioning in business ethics differs from that of other applied ethical areas. It might be that the business ethics is more consumer-driven (in a popularistic sense) than other ethical fields, with the result that the capacity to define its own issues lies less easily within the range of control of its theorists. Caravaca 18:06, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Further information[edit]

I'm looking for information on the following topics:

Anybody got an idea? --Uncle Ed 15:32, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

antitrust laws:


--Uncle Ed 15:55, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

a debate on ethics have value in business[edit]

Small Text

Factually and theoretically erroneous sections[edit]

The essay on business ethics is not even at the starter level. The essay is full of unfounded generalizations, and a few i have edited. I found a few sections in its whole theoretically and practically unfounded and irrelevant. For instance, I found the sub-subtitle "Conflicting interests" under "Theoretical issues in business ethics" completely wrong as Henry Sidgwick is not a philosopher who advocated "principal role of ethics as the harmonization and reconciliation of conflicting interests" as it is claimed. I remove the subtitle "conflicting interests" because it is misleading and erroneous. Prober123 (talk) 05:49, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

On MrOllie's editing[edit]

I think it is a wrong decision to cut off all my contributions to the "business ethics" topic based on "original research" objection. What it is reverted to is indeed is a piece of article with unfounded and vague claims inappropriate to any standard encyclopedia. It would be appropriated if it is clarified how the present version is better than that with my contributions. My additions were indeed from within the purview of accepted knowledge on business ethics.Prober123 (talk) 15:19, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Please go back through your contributions, add sources to all statements for which you have sources, and cut out all the rest. - MrOllie (talk) 15:25, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

How to access the article before your editing in an editable format?Prober123 (talk) 16:01, 10 March 2010 (UTC) I have given a detailed comment on MrOllie's total elimination of my contribution as given below:

I think it is a wrong decision to cut off all my contributions to the "business ethics" topic based on "original research" objection. What it is reverted to is indeed is a piece of article with unfounded and vague claims inappropriate to any standard encyclopedia. It would be appropriated if it is clarified how the present version is better than that with my contributions. My additions were indeed from within the purview of accepted knowledge on business ethics.Prober123 (talk) 15:16, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

It is an axiomatic statement: being ethical is the default condition of existence. It is the premise with with ethical arguments begin. It is surprising while this statement appeared 'unsourced' while the statements in the current article does not appear to you so: 1. In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions (known as ethicism) is increasing- and its source is this: Is it sufficient? 2. Businesses can often attain short-term gains by acting in an unethical fashion; however, such behaviours tend to undermine the economy over time.--Is it sourced? It is unfounded argument. It is possible for business to be unethical and continue flourishing as it is the case with many of the transnational corporations. 3. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be at odds with non-economic social values. --What is the 'non-economic social values' is it substantiated with any source? Why the 'economic social values' are excluded? 4. Historically, interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. --Is it substantiated with sources that 'business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s'. It is not factual that since 1980s corporates became ethical! 5. For example, today most major corporate websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values under a variety of headings (e.g. ethics codes, social responsibility charters).-- So what? Where are the sources? Isn't it too naive and inappropriate for a free encyclopedia? 6. Is 'Ethics of accounting and financial information'-- just accounting ethics? 7. Is this statement sourced "Marketing, which goes beyond the mere provision of information about (and access to) a product, may seek to manipulate our values and behavior. To some extent society regards this as acceptable, but where is the ethical line to be drawn? Marketing ethics overlaps strongly with media ethics, because marketing makes heavy use of media. However, media ethics is a much larger topic and extends outside business ethics." -- Equating marketing ethics with media ethics is neither correct nor it is sourced. 8. This is under the subtitle 'ethics of intellectual property...': Knowledge and skills are valuable but not easily "ownable" as objects. Nor is it obvious who has the greater rights to an idea: the company who trained the employee, or the employee themselves? The country in which the plant grew, or the company which discovered and developed the plant's medicinal potential? As a result, attempts to assert ownership and ethical disputes over ownership arise-,-- is it sourced? does it make sense? 9. Look at this one titled as Conflicting interests. It comes under Theoretical issues in business ethics. "Business ethics can be examined from various new perspectives, including the perspective of the employee, the commercial enterprise, and society as a whole. Very often, situations arise in which there is conflict between one or more of the parties, such that serving the interest of one party is a detriment to the other(s). For example, a particular outcome might be good for the employee, whereas, it would be bad for the company, society, or vice versa. Some ethicists (e.g., Henry Sidgwick) see the principal role of ethics as the harmonization and reconciliation of conflicting interests". --Is the "conflicting interest" a theoretical issue in ethics? Is it that Henry Sidgwic saw 'the principal role of ethics as the harmonization and reconciliation of conflicting interests'. It is wrong. 10. The subtitle "Ethical issues and approaches" is full of un-sourced and baseless statement. One sentence goes like this, " Some take the position that organizations are not capable of moral agency. Under this, ethical behavior is required of individual human beings, but not of the business or corporation". --Is there any source given?

I have not looked into the rest as I found they have to be worked a lot.

I have approached business ethics from the four most accepted theoretical positions: virtue ethics, deontological ethics, utilitarian ethics and pragmatic ethics. The four approach along with few other approaches like capability, social contract, ethical relativism approached are also adopted in most standard text books of business ethics. Standard text books take business ethics as part of the field of ethics and treat it with age old theories of ethics. Such an approach is taken by business ethics textbooks edited by Robert E. Frederick, Campbell Jones Et. Al., Jefery D.Smith. The one you have pointed out as my error that being ethical is the default condition of existence is argued throughout the seminal work Jacques Cory. However, the ones I have pointed out as erroneous and unfounded and published as the current article is not the position taken by any of the serious text books or source books of ethics or business ethics. I also used the insights from the book “There is no such thing as business ethics” by John C. Maxwell and used it in my opening paragraph. The books I treated as standard text/ source books are: 1. Cory, Jacques. (2005). Activist Business Ethics. Boston: Springer 2. Frederick, Robert. E (Ed.). (1999). A Companion to Business Ethics. Oxford: Blackwell 3. Jones, Campbell Et al., (Ed.). ( 2005). Business Ethics a Critical Approach. London: Routledge 4. Maxwell, John C. (2003). There is no such thing as business ethics. USA: Warner Books 5. Smith, Jefery D (Ed). (2009) . Normative Theory and Business Ethics. New York: Rowman & Littlefield

However, you are free to have your stand that you resorted to the current version because you found it better sourced and more authentic. I am not here for further debates. I do not claim whatever I have contributed is the best. They have to be perfected. However, i do not agree with your total deletion of all that I have contributed.Prober123 (talk) 17:03, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

To Editors[edit]

I believe I edited the stub on business ethics into a better referenced article. The article does not still meet any quality standard. I suggest that the subtitle: Theoretical issues in business ethics should be either thoroughly edited or deleted because, the content given below is not a serious discussion on theoretical issues. The statement under 'business ethics as applied ethics'"In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions (known as ethicism) is increasing.[39] Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws (e.g. higher UK road tax for higher-emission vehicles).[40] Businesses can often attain short-term gains by acting in an unethical fashion; however, such behaviours tend to undermine the economy over time." is loosely written and its references are not sufficiently authentic. On what basis it is claimed, "increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century"? What is "more ethical business processes and actions (known as ethicism)"? I welcome this section being edited by persons trained in relevant subjects. Something should be done so that experts in other fields with no training in philosophy, social sciences or business ethics or related subjects do not edit articles without adequate discussions.Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 18:00, 14 March 2010 (UTC) I just give up! Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 01:42, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Bad Editing[edit]

Yworo has damaged the article. The editor indeed has vandalized the article. I think his editing should be discussed. Ruthless and unfounded editing should be discouraged.  — [Unsigned comment added by Dr.P.Madhu (talkcontribs).]

I support Yworo's edit. Before the revert, the article was a rambling essay that was not written in an encyclopedic form and which ignored the Manual of Style. - MrOllie (talk) 16:38, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Do not just 'support' MrOllie do the supporting with necessary citations and arguments from valid texts and articles in the field.Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 04:58, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Regrettable! MrOllie, you should have substantiated that the article was 'rambling'. Or you should have challenged it with literature support! It is terribly regrettable, that articles written with literature backing is edited off with 'editors' having no credible background knowledge in the subject discussed. What is discussed in academics when does not fit your whims and fancy you simply cut off them! When you edit off well referenced article, do it with better references! Challenge academically, not ideologically. - If manual of style is the problem all that you editors should have done done is asking any one of us to correct it- I would have certainly contributed! If Manual of Style adherence is your problem, then you should have edited it! It is still unedited! The references presently available are mostly contributed by me- it is still in APA style! I just watch with awe on what is happening to wiki! - You editors have no right to hide what is discussed in authentic literature because it does not fit your fancy. For me such editings are "irresponsibility". Let the readers know what is there discussed in current literature. Your current editing does not let readers know what is being discussed in the field of business ethics- just because you may have a personal ideology that prevents you to appreciate the current academic debates. I hope some sense prevails. If no sense prevails then, I think serious and committed editors may have to keep away from wikipedia. I just give up. However, I will wait to see whether wiki grows beyond personal whims and fancies of the editors who edit everything from statistics, to mathematics, to philosophy and to whatnot! Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 20:55, 13 April 2010 (UTC) I am reverting Yworo's bad edit to the earlier article. I would recommend a debate/ discussion instead of personal whims of a few editors playing big role in wiki articles.Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 04:41, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

[[Please refrain from making personal attacks. Thanks. - MrOllie (talk) 13:47, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
The change made to the article since the revision I reverted to were terrible. The lead section of the article was removed and a bunch of essay-like material was added to the beginning of the article. Dr. Madhu, it is your responsibility to read the Manual of Style and conform to it. Otherwise your edits deteriorate the article and have to be reverted. Feel free to reintegrate your material after reading the Manual of Style as well as Wikipedia's verifiability, citation, and neutral point of view policies. You might also want to read our no original research policy. It is not correct to edit an article in such a way that it requires work from other people to make it conform to our guidelines. This is an encyclopedia article, and not a personal essay or reflection on your opinions of the subject. The article is not your own personal research paper. It's an encyclopedia article and it is required to start with a lead section that defines and introduces the subject at a level accessible to a novice on the topic. It should not start with original research about it being a "contested terrain". If that belongs in the article at all, it belong toward the end. Please also note that only the first word and proper nouns are to be capitalized in heading. The titles should not be essay-like but plain and factual. I reverted the article because your editing is bad. Please read up on our policies and try to improve. Yworo (talk) 14:34, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Here I am referring to your 13 Apr. 2010 editing. It seems your problem was that, the article was not properly structured with an introduction. Then what should be the solution? You should suggest that an introduction should be written. Instead you have removed the entire well referenced article. I was the person who wrote the first paragraph of the article that you have reverted to. This paragraph was re-molded and written under the subtitle "what is business ethics". The entire article had the spirit of the first paragraph now you have added. However, the paragraphs under that does not share the same spirit. For that reason, I worked on it and brought some clarity in the article justifying what is presently there as introductory paragraph. If your requirement is an introductory paragraph, you should have written an introductory paragraph or you should have raised that problem in this page. Instead you deleted the entire material. What is the justification for such a massive deletion of a well referenced article? You say there is "manual style" justification! Does it justify removal of all the well referenced paragraphs? On what account you have removed all the paragraphs? Do you have any academic justification to delete the content? No. What I see is you deleted the whole lot of content and another editor vengefully supported you and now you have a Wikipedia article of which the first paragraph contradicts with the rest. Why did you do this? I wrote the article because, I wanted the students and teachers should be aware of the entire scope of business ethics, which I believe an encyclopedia article should do. All the statements were well referenced and thus it cannot be accused as a personal essay. The worst part of this debate is MrOllie took things personally and acted unwisely in targeting me. MrOllie made the whole issue as if it were something to do with me as a person and not something to do with the article in discussion. What are you people doing? For me all this appears as using the powers entrusted with you irresponsibly. Is there any means to correct editor arrogance at wikipedia? I thought wikipedia was a voice of freedom and liberty! Now it has become private property of individual editors and a place for their unjustified whims and fancies. Now, just by planting one or two editors every virtue of freedom can be sabotaged. I hope the pathetic direction wikipedia takes is monitored for the sustenance and credibility of wikipedia itself. These are the few reactions I feel responsible to present before I turn blind eye on wikipedia. I think what I express is a something very many people wants to express. Something terribly wrong with some editors of the present generation of wikipedia. Before they spoil the wikipedia beyond repair someone responsible should take action. Instead, if you people take further unleash your vengeance against my legitimate reaction, that means wikipedia has already reached the unrecoverable decline path Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 08:16, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Your deletion without justification,Yworo and MrOllie, is indeed editorial vandalism!Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 08:38, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

If the problem is opening paragraph, then all required was to add a fresh opening paragraph! Ironically the first few lines, "Ethics as it could be practiced by business firms is called business ethics. [1] Ethics in business deals with the ethical path business firms are convinced to adopt. Afflicting the least suffering to humans and the nature [2] in its entirety, achieving the greatest net benefit to the society and economy[3] [4] enriching the capability of the system in which it is functioning[5] [6] being fair in all its dealings with its proximate and remote stakeholders [7], [8] [9] being prepared to correct its mal-habits [10] and nurturing an enduring virtuous corporate character [11] [12] in totality, can be called business ethics. Business ethicist also point out, “companies should behave ethically and be profitable in parallel, and even if ethics diminishes the profitability of the company, they should still behave ethically”[13]. Seen from the Kantian Ethical perspective Business has to consider its remote and proximate stakeholders as ends in themselves and not merely as means toward some other end" is added by me a few weeks before. Now the opening paragraph stands aloof from the rest of the article!Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 14:53, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the present article you have reverted to is not neutral. The article you have removed is not a personal article but it was discussing what is currently debated in the business ethics literature. It was presenting two sides of the ethics dialogged- now you have resorted to one side hiding the other side. Business ethics is a contested terrain. That is an objective fact. All that you do is join with one side, wherein you have made the article less neutral. I hope the wider academic world would take up the job of critiquing this article. The present article is defective because:

  • 1. It does not acknowledge that the field of business ethics is a contested terrain.
  • 2. It is disconnected from the discussions of the parent field of business ethics which is philosophy/logic/politics of ethics
  • 3.It does not discuss the contested issues of business ethics in its subfield like: finance, human resource management, marketing and sales, ethics of property/intellectual property rights
  • 4.It does not discuss about the "law and ethics" issue- which is hotly debated.
  • 5.It is silent about 'shareholder primacy' which is questioned in business ethics literature.
  • 6.However, it takes as if "conflict of interest" a major theoretical problem in ethics- which is wrong.
  • 7.The subtitle, " Ethical issues and approaches" is unfounded. It is not supported by citations.
  • 8.You have removed cases on business ethics issues. It is wrong.
  • 9.The statement "In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business] processes and actions (known as ethicism) is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws (e.g. higher UK road tax for higher-emission vehicles). Businesses can often attain short-term gains by acting in an unethical fashion; however, such behaviours tend to undermine the economy over time." is unfounded and obviously wrong. Such sweeping statements are not usually seen in any good encyclopedia.
  • 10.I am aware of the debates in ethics. I teach business ethics. What you have reverted to is totally substandard article does not even touch any significant issues discussed in ethics.

It seems personal whims and fancies of some editors have upper hand in what should be said and what should not be said. This is regrettable.I do not too much worry about poor editings because still people who want to refer to better versions crippled by one or another editor can view them. Thanks to wikipedia format allowing interested viewers to view older versions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr.P.Madhu (talkcontribs) 13:58, 15 April 2010 (UTC) I write this otherwise it will be irresponsibility if i do not respond against an article deliberately crippled by an editor. I have nothing personally whomsoever the editor is. I condemn the deliberate/unintentional editing by which an editor does a great deal of disservice in not letting readers aware of what is hotly discussed in legitimate published literature.Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 14:10, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I supported Yworo's reversion because of several factors. Your version of the article was written in a essay style - this is not surprising because you are apparently an essayist in this field. This style is not 'wrong', per se, but it is wrong for Wikipedia. I also reverted because, while it is true that you added sources to the article, you also drew points and presented arguments that were not specifically found in those sources. For example, I have looked through the cited sources and have not found the 'Business ethics is a contested terrain' language which you state is an objective fact. When you attempt to combine sources to generate a new point, in Wikipedia terms we consider this to be synthesis, which is a type of original research. Original research should not be presented on Wikipedia because it is against policy here. It also bears mentioning that the grammar of your version of the article was very weak and would have required extensive copy editing, and even then parts may not have made sense to lay persons, who are our intended audience. Because of these factors I don't think that your changes were a net improvement to the article, so I restored the article's state to before they were made. - MrOllie (talk) 13:58, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

MrOllie, it is good that finally you decided to discuss. It is not true that I synthesized "business ethics is contested terrain". It is not a synthesis, rather it is a summery of discussions going on in current texts of business ethics. For your convenience I give sample pages from two business ethics texts. Please go through them and then decide (in the article i have given more citations).

Link 1. This is a text book by Campbell Jones,Refer to pages 2-8 and 96-111. You will see I have summarized what is given there.

Link 2.

Please refer to pages 51-66. This is another good text book. It is written by Ronald Duska This is another good text book.

Do not hesitate to come back. I will answer all your questions. Do not remain silent after receiving this explanation. If you are not convinced please tell me.

I am sure- you have done a bad editing without sufficiently considering the content. However, an after thought too is appreciated. Thank you for your patience. I hope you will refer to the easily accessible texts i have given above. Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 18:03, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Also, you can refer to this book and turn to page 8 and 13: (the idea from this book is there in the current business ethics article, which is also my contribution!) (talk) 18:13, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

None of those links contain the phrase 'contested terrain'. - MrOllie (talk) 18:18, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Now you are coming with lame excuses. In the first book atleast 10 times the author says- it is contested! He says "business ethics is not an uncontested discipline" in page 8. The second book puts it better- as "oxymoron"... Look at this article, "" The title says, "Theorising Corporate Social Responsibility as an Essentially Contested Concept"-- A journal article observes, "It is a field scattered with contested concepts"....Look here if you are convinced:;jsessionid=34F2193E986DAD33E1B30A825ED1E0EF?contentType=Article&hdAction=lnkhtml&contentId=879155&history=false

still you have problem? Then, I should say you are dishonest.

I know it is a contested terrain. Every keen student of business ethic knows this! I know it from the texts, articles and discussions in the field. If you do not know learn it. Before learning why do you edit? This is the problem with wikipedia editors. They assume themselves to be doctor of all subjects!

I am not a native English speaker. Naturally my grammar will not be strong. Wikipedia has not excluded non-native English speakers. If there are problems with grammar- those who are strong in grammar should correct it. What is happening to you Mr.Editor? Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 18:41, 16 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr.P.Madhu (talkcontribs) 18:39, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Please read WP:CIVIL, this is a policy on Wikipedia. - MrOllie (talk) 18:45, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

dear MrOllie, What is that you found uncivil? Is it that my statement on honesty let you to react so? For me what these people say "contested concept" again and again is enough to word it as contested terrain. I have no quarrel even if we resort to the phrase "contested concept". When you refuse the obvious what should I say? If it is the statement "What is happening to you Mr.Editor?" that is a statement of cordiality. I wonder why you insist on the exact phrase "contested TERRAIN"? Is it that always editors look for such strict wording? For me it is uncivil to cut off well considered well referenced article for no valid academic reason- even without discussing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr.P.Madhu (talkcontribs) 19:06, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much for letting me voice my dissent. Now it should be clear for the readers that I have not "synthesized" in writing "business ethics is a contested terrain". Business ethics is a contested domain/terrain/field. While something is contested- it should be right that it should be stated. Hiding the prevailing contests just makes the article less reliable if not useless. Ethics of finance, marketing, human resource management, property rights, intellectual property rights, share-holder primacy vs stake holder primacy, labour rights vs shareholder privilege,.... every thing is contested. Even Wikipedia is born out of such an ethical contest! And this contest is quite visible without no one to "synthesizing" or manipulate such a contest. The contest is centuries old- and the contest is quite sharp in the last two to three decades. Because the contest is too acute the present generations of books and articles say a lot about the contest, increasingly. Business ethics is a dynamic field. It can only be described by explaining its dynamism. All that we can do is presenting the crux of present debates and contestations. I have done it through citations from 100s of books and articles, dedicating every free hours I had in the past one or two months for developing this article. All of a sudden one editor reverted to another version of the article I edited months. I wrote the opening paragraph of that article as you have left that article without a proper opening paragraph. Now I have made it clear you were wrong not just in editing an article but also in mis-treating contributors. In spite of all these things I would recommend that you should revert your edit to the well cited article and let the other contributors to correct its style, format, grammar and citations and whatsoever its problem could be. Also, I advice you to exercise utmost caution while labeling contributors with one or another bad sounding titles. Once gain I thank you very much for letting my dissenting note here. Dr.P.Madhu (talk) 03:26, 18 April 2010 (UTC)


BP's "beyond petroleum" environmental tilt Still BP is ethical due to its "environmental tilt"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Copyedits and beyond[edit]

I've hammered this thing pretty hard. Still working, but the copy is down by about 20%. I have a question about references. This thing has more than I've ever seen before. One sentence has 10(!) I propose deleting all but two refs for any given point. I'd appreciate your thoughts on what rule to use when removing them. Possibilities:

  • First 2
  • Maximize number of distinct sources (many sources are heavily cited)
  • Minimize number of distinct sources (perhaps more heavily-cited sources are better sources)

Many of the refs also include extensive quotes and/or commentary. Should I keep it?

I must say that the article still seems like a jargon-laden, thinly-disguised attack on business, e.g., the fairly random and poorly formed attacks on neoliberalism. I have tried to restate the attacks in clearer language rather than removing them. Make sense?


Lfstevens (talk) 08:07, 12 March 2011 (UTC)


  • I left the excess references in for an expert to sort through. I recommend shrinking to at most 2 refs per assertion.
  • The article has long treatises on what seems mostly about political economy and are at best only tangentially related to the topic, which properly should concern itself with the behavior of individual firms and their stakeholders. I recommend removing these portions and focusing on the specific issues of the behavior of corporations and their employees.
  • I changed the tone of many passages from attacks by "scholars" on "neoliberal ideologues" to a neutral presentation. Encyclopedia articles present subject overviews rather than making an argument. This article is still far from the former.
  • I left a bunch of comments in the text for others to address.
  • My changes were so extensive (I reduced the word count by 2k and the byte count by 25k) that I'd highly recommend recruiting a subject matter expert to vet the result.

Enjoy. Lfstevens (talk) 02:55, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

-It is not ‘neutral’ to hide the dominion nature of an economic system. Neo-liberalism is a dominion economic ideology that favours the top crust of an artificial hierarchy. Hiding this is a non-neutral stand. (talk) 10:50, 20 April 2011 (UTC)


Why are there large chunks of text included in many of the references? I don't know the exact policy on that but I haven't seen it on other articles and it doesn't seem necessary. If a quote was taken from a reference, then shouldn't the content of the reference just have the standard info on author, title, page# etc and not have to quote the entire piece of text that it came from? GrainyMagazine (talk) 22:44, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Possible merge[edit]

Should Ethics in management, be merged into this article? GrainyMagazine (talk) 22:45, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

It's a good idea, GrainyMagazine. That article could be merged into this section Business_ethics#Functional_business_areas. Best, New worl (talk) 04:54, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Support That article is rather scrappy, while this, though perhaps not of very high quality is better established and organised. Moreover “Business ethics” sounds to me more like standard terminology than “Ethics in management”. I am less convinced about merging it into the section Functional business areas – maybe Management strategy is closer. PJTraill (talk) 21:47, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Who knows more about the Ethisphere Institute?[edit]

The Ethisphere Institute is a rather curious organisation, in that it apparently takes money from companies to which it gives “Most Ethical Company” awards ( Perhaps some of those interested in business ethics can also make a useful contribution to that article, which now and then suffers from a splurge of Ethisphere publicity, for which it has been deleted; it seems to make more sense to ensure that that article gives a neutral description. PJTraill (talk) 21:47, 30 October 2014 (UTC)