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Process Ethics and Business: Applying Process Thought to Enact Critiques of Mind/Body Dualism in Organizations


Macklin, RB and Mathison, K and Dibben, MR, Process Ethics and Business: Applying Process Thought to Enact Critiques of Mind/Body Dualism in Organizations, Process Studies, 43, (2) pp. 61-86. ISSN 0360-6503 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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The study oforganizational ethics continues to be the focus ofsignificant academic attention, however it is a discourse that remains largely informed by a form ofmorality that is perhaps best described as ordered and cognitive. Traditional approaches to questions oforganizational ethics emphasize a fundamentally static view oforganizations and the people within them, reinforcing notions ofmind/body dualism and reifying ethics as an outcome ofhuman agency, choice, and deliberate intention (see MacKay and Chia). We challenge this approach and instead argue in favor ofethics research that adopts an ontology grounded in process metaphysics. Escaping the confines of Cartesian dualism, we reconceptualize organizational ethics as something that is in fact not held constant, is not a static termination point or an outcome of events, but is rather an input into the continually reconstituting context ofthe organization over time (see Langley, et al. ). The process ethics we articulate provides a grounding for moral critique in diverse communities that is not undermined by relativism. Moreover, it provides guidance to managers and employees facing moral problems without forcing them to face a tyranny ofprinciples. We consider how a process ethics would be enacted in organizations through managerial decision-making and in the treatment of employees.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Business ethics
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management
UTAS Author:Macklin, RB (Dr Rob Macklin)
UTAS Author:Mathison, K (Dr Karin Mathison)
UTAS Author:Dibben, MR (Associate Professor Mark Dibben)
ID Code:97418
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2014-12-16
Last Modified:2015-04-24

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