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European Business and Economic Ethics

Dorothea Baur, Franziska Birke, Jochen Fehling, Bettina Hollstein & Mi-Yong Lee-Peuker (Eds.)

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abstract The economic reality in Europe today is increasingly determined by pan-European and global forces that transcend the once predominant level of the nation state. As a result, the “economic ethical reality” has changed as well: economic actors, non-governmental organisations, governments – and the scientific community – have to look beyond national borders in addressing ethical issues.

There are, to be sure, transnational discourses and cases of cooperation in Europe, such as the transnational discourse in German speaking countries or the close links between British and Dutch approaches to business ethics. However, the field of business and economic ethics in Europe remains largely confined to bilateral relations or even national contexts; its landscape appears to be scattered: parallel developments may exist, but they seem to be merely coincidental.

Considering this situation, the Berlin Forum has organized a conference on business and economics ethics, which aimed to stimulate dialogue between scholars from different European countries and thereby to strengthen scientific cooperation in this field. The main contributions to this conference are documented in this special issue of the zfwu.

The focus of the conference was academic rather than application-oriented. It addressed theoretical perspectives on both economic and business ethics. The geographical focus was on Western Europe, thereby recognising the fact that the current trends in business and economic ethics in Eastern Europe constitute a complex topic in itself – a topic that poses specific questions and would therefore go beyond the scope of a single conference.

On a conceptual level the European business and economic ethics landscape can be distinguished along the lines of discipline and ethics tradition. The main disciplinary clusters are business ethics (operational cluster) and economic ethics (system cluster). Clusters grouped according to their underlying ethical traditions are liberalism (e.g. utilitarianism, contractualism), Kantian ethics / discourse ethics, virtue ethics and Catholic and Protestant social thought. The conference conceptualized these clusters as a starting point and aimed at enhancing dialogue between them.
   
type journal editorial board
   
keywords business ethics, economic ethics, values, state market relations
   
language English
date of appearance 15-10-2008
publisher Rainer Hampp Verlag
ISSN 1439-880X
volume of journal 9
number of issue 1
citation Baur, D. (Hrsg.) ; Birke, F. (Hrsg.) ; Fehling, J. (Hrsg.) ; Hollstein, B. (Hrsg.) ; Lee-Peuker, M. Y. (Hrsg.) (2008). European Business and Economic Ethics, 9(1).