Business Humanizing

Topics: Virtue ethics, Alasdair MacIntyre Pages: 20 (7876 words) Published: October 10, 2014
Humanizing Business: A Modern Virtue Ethics Approach
Author(s): Geoff Moore
Source: Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Apr., 2005), pp. 237-255 Published by: Philosophy Documentation Center
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HUMANIZING
BUSINESS:
A MODERN
VIRTUE
ETHICS
APPROACH

GeoiFf
Moore

Mstrsst: paperbegins by exploring
The
whethera "tendency avarice"
to
existsin mostcapitalist
businessorganisations. concludesthatit does
It
and that this is problematic The problem centreson the potential threat
to the integntyof human
character the disablementof community.
and
What,then, can be done about it? Buildingon previouswork(Moore, 2002)in whichMacIntyre's
notions of practiceand institutionwere explored
(MacIntyre,1985),the paper offers a philosophically based argumentin bvour of the rediscovery of craftsmanshipby those who workin business owanisations, and the exercise of craftsmanshipin
Thepractical
implitons br indiwdualsof thiswayof conceptualising
business, and the virtueswhichmust then come to the fore!are discussed. community4

Introduction
*

Tn thls papenI seek to argue*t the humamzlng buslnesswlll, in pgt, occur of
lonly whenthosewho workin it recapture sense of the virtuesandof the internal a
goods thatarepotentially
derivable
fromworkingin suchorganisations putinto
and
effectthe practical
implications follow.Thenotionof "craftsmanship"a useful
that
is
shorthand this. Craftsmanship
for
however wouldrequirethe esercise of virtuein
communitys this too is explored.
and
Muchof what follows buildson MacIntyresnotionsof practiceandinstitution whichI havealready
explored theirapplication business(MacIntyre
in
to
1985;Moore
2002) and in addition,
attempts applyotherassociated
to
partsof MacIntyre's
work.
Butit is insuctive to beginsomewhat
beforeMacIntyreS a quotation
with
fromJohn
Maynard
Keynes
e

B

B

*

A Tendency Avarice?
to
Inhis essay '4The
EconomicPossibilities OurGrandchildren,
for
wnttenin 1930,
Keynesheld out the possibilitythat,withinone hundred
years,we will have solved
whathe termedthe ';economic
problem of ffie humanrace.He thenforesawa fime
whenwe wouldbe free

C)200S. Basiness E*ics Qrterly

Volume 3L5s
Issue 2. ISSN 1052-lSOX.

This content downloaded from 132.170.68.16 on Thu, 2 Oct 2014 12:09:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

pp. 237-255

238

BUSINESS ETHICSQUARTERLY
to return someof themostsureandcertain
to
principles religionandtraditional
of
virtue thatavarice a vice, thatthe exactionof usuryis a misdemeanour, is
and
the love of moneyis detestable . . [that]we shallonce morevalueendsabove .
meansandpreferthe good to the useful.

But thenhe warned:
But beware!The time for all this is not yet. Forat least another hundred
years
we mustpretend ourselvesandto everyone fairis foul andfoul is fair;for to
that
foul is usefulandfairis not.Avarice usuryandprecaution
and
mustbe ourgods
for a little longerstill. Foronly they can leadus out of the tunnelof economic necessityinto daylight.(Keynes1972)

Keynesseems to havebeen suggestingthatit was...

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