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Business Ethics and Organizational Values

A Systems Theoretical Analysis

Business Ethics and Organizational Values by Ole Thyssen
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Organizational values are extremely topical, as private and public organizations are not only evaluated according to their products and profits, but also according to the circumstances of the product – labour conditions, materials, risks, human rights and social responsibilities.

Faced with dramatic innovations in modern societies, ideas of right and wrong are changing. No simple moral intuition is able to solve new dilemmas. No fixed rules can handle organizational learning processes. Constantly values are clashing with no objective solution. Instead, values are defining the identity of organizations, and organizations are engaged in ongoing discussions of values, integrating new values as premises for their decision making.

Business Ethics and Organizational Values operates on three levels – society, organization and values. First, the dynamics of modern society are analyzed. Secondly, organizations are viewed an autopoietic systems constantly engaged in value debates with its stakeholders. Thirdly, values are placed in a business context presenting conflicting stakeholder values and showing how values make organizations sensitive to their environment. A practical method, Ethical Accounting, is outlined, making it possible to measure the degree of values fulfilment. Also the dark side of values is discussed under the headline of hypocrisy.

Business students, managers in private and public organizations will face a wholly new vision of the interrelations between society, organizations and values.
Palgrave Macmillan; May 2009
263 pages; ISBN 9780230250932
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Title: Business Ethics and Organizational Values
Author: Ole Thyssen