Integration or Separation?

Applied Theories of Management Ethics

Diploma Thesis 2010 65 Pages




List of figures, tables and abbreviations Preface

1 Management ethics
1.1 Business management and philosophical ethics
1.2 Theoretical relations
1.2.1 Disciplinary integration
1.2.2 Theoretical integration
1.3 Application and justification
1.4 Explaining variables

2 The integrative corporate social performance concept
2.1 Responsibility or responsiveness
2.2 Descriptive analysis
2.2.1 The corporate social performance concept
2.2.2 Theoreticity
2.2.3 Practicability
2.2.4 Reflection
2.3 Critical analysis
2.3.1 Applicability and justification
2.3.2 Metatheory
2.3.3 Epistemology
2.4 Recapitulation

3 Integrative management ethics
3.1 Descriptive analysis
3.1.1 The concept of integrative management ethics
3.1.2 Practicability
3.1.3 Theoreticity
3.1.4 Reflection
3.2 Critical analysis
3.2.1 Applicability and justification
3.2.2 Metatheory
3.2.3 Epistemology
3.3 Recapitulation

4 Conclusion



Integration or Separation? Applied Theories of

Management Ethics[1]


On the one hand, our rapidly developing economy transforms scientific and technological advancement, irreversibility as well as difficult adjustability within liberalizing global activ­ity into powerful instruments for top management of multinational corporations in terms of economic value creation. On the other hand, this economy gathers human beings especially as moral subjects (and not just economical objects); moreover, human beings with dia­metrically distinct cultural and religious (i.e., moral) orientations. That means, managers necessarily need to apply and justify responsible and consistent use of their instruments (i.e., ethical value creation/consideration). Is this not the case, efficiency principles of so called “theories of management ethics” relate exclusively to the economic side (but not to the ethical one). At first, this interdisciplinary diploma thesis therefore defines four variables (disciplinary integration, theoretical integration, justification and application), which an integrative or interdisciplinary theory of academic management ethics necessarily needs to have. Second, two concept of management ethics are analyzed, that both rise the claim of be­ing such a theory. The first concept (corporate social performance) is positive-economically biased, whereas the second (integrative management ethics) is normative-ethically biased. The thesis finds, at first, that the former concept completely lacks of justification, whereas application is very high. The latter concept is completely justified but still lacks in applica­tion. Secondly, disciplinary integration and theoretical integration are positive correlated to application and justification until a certain degree. Third, the cognitive state of universal- ethical-principle orientation must be set as the presupposition for the formulation of theories of integrative or interdisciplinary management ethics within academia.

Keywords: applied ethics, corporate social performance, disciplinarity, integrative eco­nomic ethics, interdisciplinarity, management theory, metatheory

List of Figures

1 Pattern of academic disciplines according to Max-Neef (2005)

2 Corporate social responsibility of the CSP concept

3 Metatheoretical allocation of the CSP concept

4 The regulative idea of socio-economic rationality

5 Metatheoretical allocation of integrative management ethics

List of Tables

1 Theoreticity of the CSP concept

2 Preliminary application of the CSP concept

3 Quality dimensions of the CSP model

4 CSP results

5 Theoreticity of integrative management ethics

6 Quality dimensions of integrative management ethics

7 Results of integrative management ethics

List of Abbreviations

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However, within (economic) science there persists a social task not in the design of new tamer-languages for the purpose of soul solace but, to the contrary, to tutor the critical faculties concerning mere rhetoric and the wretchedness of tentative commonplace.


The aim of this diploma thesis of general business administration is, to investigate the two relating questions: “what practically is management ethics and how can it get evaluated?” Therefore, we primarily elaborate a methodical framework to analyze such concepts. As concepts of academic management ethics should minimally satisfy the interests of its con­stitutive subjects (business administration and philosophical ethics), these concisely get described as well as their possible relation within an integrated (combined) theory (sec­tion 1). Sequentially, we separately analyze two representative concepts of management ethics, first in a descriptive, then in a critical mode, by means of the latter framework: the concept of corporate social performance (CSP), that is rather economically biased (sec­tion 2), and the concept of integrative management ethics, that is philosophical-ethically biased (section 3). In the end, we compare the results and conclude the investigation (section 4).

1 Management ethics

1.1 Business management and philosophical ethics

Business management

The first part of the combined term management ethics, can be derived from business administration[2]. The term business reflects “all methodical human activity that is, in regard of the economic principle (principle of economic rationality), aimed to decrease the scarcity of goods, measured by the human demands.” In the concrete sense, a busi­ness is “a methodical organized business entity ..., to produce and market material goods and services.”[3] The objects of investigation of business administration are “individual, income-producing and income-spending related decisions”, and due to “the future relation of decision, also the insecurity of income has to be conceptualized.” The economic prin­ciple, as the methodological axiom of business administration, also reflects the “central economic value conception” of its theory. It is defined as follows:[4]

Economic efficiency - The principle of economic rationality demands, that a certain aim be reached by means of the least input (minimum principle) or that the highest aim be reached by means of a certain input (maximum principle).[5]

Business administration is a rather methodological discipline (offers means to fulfill cer­tain ends). It is generally not considered as a normative science. Although the principle of economic rationality (efficiency) can be stated as its “central economic value conception”, this definition of value however is theory endogenous. Business administration considers the normative definition of human decisions as exogenous, and therefore “not an object of the theory”[6]. Business administration is an applied science, as far as it is a scien­tific (theoretical) approach, that tries to find concepts to solve the practical problems of management.[7] The word management (quasi business administration in praxi) refers to the person or the group of people (the institution of management), making the cardinal decisions of the corporation regarding the principle of economic rationality (efficiency).[8] The latter can be characterized as decisions that

1. are fundamental value related (monetarily and non-monetarily)
2. have a wide temporal extension
3. are irreversible
5. constitutionally concern the corporation
6. holistically concern the corporation
7. limit consequential decisions
8. are immediate decisions
9. are related to new questions, which are not yet conceptualized.[9]

The word “management”, is derived from the Latin root of its verb manus agere in the sense of “to handle” or “to control.”[10] That there is such a wide use of the word management, supposable reflects this original (rather technical) meaning, which is highly methodic,[11] it is a technique (that offers means to access ends). Management method­ically combines different approaches for this purpose.[12] As agents of the corporation,[13] managers have the following functions, to perform related to their principals best inter­est (the function of management): development of corporate goals, corporate principles and corporate culture; formulation of the corporate strategy; controlling; organization; human resource management and negotiating. Therefore, management is promoted by the following support systems : risk management, crisis management, mergers and acqui­sitions management, innovation management, quality management, ecology orientated management; diversity management. Moreover, management utilizes cost management techniques, forecasting and planning techniques, and pursues information and knowledge management.[14] The latter manifests in the practical behavior of management related to its environment (the process of management).

Generally speaking, management theory of academic business administration provides guidelines concerning the economic aspect of human behavior and hence, offers specialized knowledge related to the management of corporations.[15] Theories of business adminis­tration are to be seen as “the insights of one scientific community”[16] within the body of science. They need to fulfill certain criteria to be a theory of business administration respectively a scientific theory.[17]

Philosophical Ethics

Ethics, as the second part of the combined term, can be divided in three areas, reflecting the respective cognitive interest: First, descriptive ethics describes the various appear­ances of moral or custom within behavior and formulates corresponding empirical theories. This is an issue of history, ethnology, psychology and sociology. Second, the intention of normative ethics is to critically question the respective prevailing moral and to reason principles and forms of good moral behavior. Third, meta-ethics, intends to critically analyze linguistic elements and general formulations of moral declarations. Normative- as well as meta-ethics are issues of philosophy. The scientific origin of philosophical ethics goes back to Aristotle. Within his established, philosophical tradition, ethics, besides its narrower sense, analogously is to be seen in its more comprehensive sense, which contains politics and economics (as ethical subdisciplines).[18]

The object of the investigation of ethics is moral or morals (Lat. mores: custom, character). It reflects the normative principles. That constitute human being’s mode of existence, concerning primarily the behavior, when relating to fellow man, but also to nature and oneself. Accordingly, morals also manifest with the constitution of public institutions (property, family) and, with the “lived” (not postulated) economic, social, political, cultural and religious order. Distinct from law, morals are determined by a historical grown form of life, neither coming from formal acts of the state authority, nor is connected to punishment, that immediately concern someone’s life or property. Moral rests upon a general consensus (respect of the human dignity, negation of coercion, decline of suffering; i.e., responsibilities of humanity) and, because of the corresponding tolerance, lie argumentatively open for particular groups with competing morals. In the sociological perspective, morals serve the integration and stability of social systems. By reason of new life conditions as well as due to the claim of a humanitarian existence, morals are always supposed to be open to change and critique. The adjective “morally” refers instead to morality than to moral.[19]

Although the ideal methodical process can be considered as the logical derivation, it is rather applied as an orientational directive as an unitary and identical scheme concerning philosophical ethics. The determination of the specific method depends on the underly­ing object of investigation and of the cognitive interest. Therefore, philosophical ethics is methodically built on a lack of premises, however, holding the “idea of a meaningful (moral good and equitable) human life,” it generally adopts reflection and critical argu­mentation related to the underlying matter. Philosophical ethics methodically aims to advance and expose the respective primary principles (moral principles). Also, the self- evident as well as the self are to be critically questioned. A comprehensive argumentative reflection of morals is only possible by a variety of mutually complementary methods (like it is the case with Aristotelian ethics[20] ). One single method, cannot be adequate to the subject’s complex matter. Additionally, to not argue with vacuous expressions and models, philosophical ethics must ensure an empirical basis. The former needs to be repatriated to human life. How to reach an initial point, which is familiar as well as obligatory for everyone, and how to proceed from that point, is controversial. Some traditional attempts/methods (which thereby constitute the respective paradigms) with corresponding representatives can be stated i.a.,

- the hermeneutic method (Ritter, Gadamer)
- the phenomenological method (Husserl, Scheler)
- the dialectical method (Hegel)
- the linguistic-analytical method (Wittgenstein, Moore)
- the normative-analytical method (Rawls)
- the transcendental method (Kant, Fichte).

The respective analyzes remain dependent in the origin (foreknowledge) which all contain a basic meaning of “human being and world.” By making those dependencies transparent, they will be qualified, criticized and eliminated as “metaphysical” premises. Modern philosophical ethics, therefore tries to process without such premises, to understand moral behavior from “a total conception of being.”[21]

Modern ethics as a project of analytical philosophy or rationalist moral theory (seen as one scientific community within the body of science), probably is best characterized as a “repatriation of ethics to rationality”. Such a theory is, so to speak, a theory of reason(s).[22] The logical consequence of this holistic scope is the impossibility of narrowly or axiomatically defying the subjacent normative ethical rationality (or even efficiency) without reducing it somehow.

1.2 Theoretical relations

1.2.1 Disciplinary integration

Management ethics is a discipline that rather has to be regarded as a combination of two disciplines, as it is not yet established as an autonomous subject within academia. A concept of management ethics, therefore, necessarily has to close a disciplinary (from ethics to economics) gab, but also a theoretical gap (from ethical, rather normative, theory to economic, rather positive, theory) if it claims “integration” in any form.

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Figure 1: Pattern of academic disciplines according to Max-Neef (2005)

Before describing possible relations of concept in the theoretical level, a description of the possible relations of disciplines in the disciplinary or academical level can be rea­sonably applied. Max-Neef (2005) elaborated a framework of disciplinary relations and described his view of transdisciplinarity. It is the highest form of disciplinary integration, as it transcends the stepladder of disciplinarity (“specialization in isolation”), multidisci- plinarity (“no cooperation”), pluridisciplinaity (“cooperation without coordination”) and interdisciplinarity (“coordination from [a] higher level concept”). The first is the case, if a person for example studies economics, the second, if she/he studies sociology, genetics and economics (subjects of the same metatheoretical or epistemological level) “without any integrative synthesis” and the third, if she/he studies the latter disciplines by letting them cooperate but without coordination (they then singularly “reinforce the understand­ing of the others”). Finally the fifth applies if she/he studies philosophy, politics and law whereas “a sense of purpose is introduced when the common axiomatics of a group of related disciplines is defined at the next higher hierarchical level”.[23] Significant for transdisciplinarity is, that it exceeds an integration of two vertical levels. Whereas the strength of transdisciplinarity according to the author is not just defined by its extension but especially by its intension (how complementary and reciprocal the disciplines relate to each other). Max-Neef (2005) conducts the following “mental pillars” and formulates the following laws, that basically indicate transdisciplinary strength:[24]

1. Levels of reality - “Two different levels of reality are different if, while passing from one to the other, there is a break in the laws and a break in fundamental concepts.”

1st law - “The laws of a given level of reality are not self-sufficient to describe the totality of phenomena occurring at that same level.”

2. The logic of the included middle - “There exists a third term T which is at the same time A and non-A...situated at a different level of reality”; there exists “a kind of permeability between neighbouring levels.”

2nd law - “Every theory at a given level of reality, is a transitory theory, since it inevitably leads to the discovery of new contradictions situated in new levels of reality.”

The author finally notes, that “although the epistemology of transdisciplinarity may be relatively clear, its applicability as a methodology in the social sciences still suffers from deficiencies.” We can conclude, that this metatheoretically should apply to the under­lying aim of integrating ethics with economics. If we consider Figure 1, we talk about an integration of a discipline of the upper, with a discipline of the bottom level. That means, we must suppose a weak form of transdisciplinarity for an integrative model ac­cording to Max-Neef (2005). The latter author does not give a systematic and explicit pattern to proof integrated attempts. His remarks remain quite general as he discusses transdisciplinarity for the entire scientific body. However, his conduct can be used as a basic framework for the analysis of concepts claiming theoretical integration.

1.2.2 Theoretical integration

For the case of integrating business administration with philosophical ethics, we refer to the metatheoretical groundwork of Weaver and Trevino (1994) describing the integrative levels of empirical and normative business ethics (in bilateral consideration).[25] The three theoretical relationships possible are conditioned as follows. Theoretical impor­tation and theoretical reciprocity are necessary conditions for a weak to medium integra­tion (theoretical importation already applies with symbiosis; theoretical unity is necessary for strong integration):[26]

- Parallelism - “...separation of empirical and normative inquiry, and denies integration of any kind on both conceptual and practical grounds.”
- Symbiosis - “...surface-level practical relationship in which normative and/or empirical business ethics rely on each other for guidance in setting agenda or applying the results of their conceptually and methodologically distinct forms of inquiry.”
- Integration - “...merging of prima facie distinct forms of inquiry, potentially involving alterations in or unifications of the substantive theory, metatheoretical assumptions, or methodology of each approach...the theoretical content and methods of multiple fields are altered to produce a single new field of study with its own assumptions, theories, issues and methods.”

Conceptual importation - “...wherein one field invokes the concepts of another in the basic framework of its theorizing.”

Theoretical reciprocity - “wherein an overall explanatory framework incorporates both em­pirical and normative theories, and where the framework’s success in providing either an empirical description or normative evaluation of some phenomenon depends, respectively, upon its normative or empirical adequacy.

Theoretical unity - “...according to which the distinction between the normative and em­pirical is rejected as methodologically and metatheoretically untenable.”

1.3 Application and justification

To acquire the critical criteria of an integrative theory of management ethics by deciding “how much business/ethics” and “what sort of business/ethics” integrative management ethics necessarily needs, to generally be such a theory and especially be such a good theory, we take the concept of adjudicative critique from Höffe (1994) as an orientational pattern. It originally relates to the critical analysis of innovative research (e.g. innovative concepts of molecular biology).[27] As we think, it represents a professionally reflected framework to critically and integratively assess transdisciplinary and academical concepts of management ethics.

Concisely described, the concept of adjudicative critique operates beyond mainstream affirmative critique (of “political moralization” tending to “release research from ethics” and often is applied by practicing scientists but also politicians). However, it shall also operate beyond mainstream negative critique (as the “traditional critical theory” that re­mains at the principles and therefore reflects rather the usus of the critical philosopher). Put simply, it wants to operate within the latter’s overlap. By conducting a “double strategy” adjudicative critique wants to discuss the philosophic-ethical foundations with­out escaping from the level of appliance.[28]

Making adjudicative critique more operational, we draw back on a two dimensional charac­terization of business ethics, made by Beschorner (2006), which we find the most accurate in the actual literature. The latter author characterizes the two following dimensions as critical for “the crucial challenge in business ethics as an adequate bridging between the Scylla of ethical application in economic and business practices and the Charybdis of moral philosophical justification”:[29]


1. Business ethics has to bridge “Is” and “Ought” towards a fruitful tension that results in learning processes in business and societies.
2. Business ethics has to provide us with “good reasons” to undertake certain actions and avoid others. This reflect, for example, concrete decision-making processes (by managers) and the clarification of the role of business as an economic and political agent.
3. Business ethics has to provide us with “good reasons” to “build” institutions in one way and not in others. This reflect the clarification of institutional arrangements that support individual and organizational moral actions in an appropriate manner.


1. Business ethics has to develop ways of thinking about ethical issues that are not limited to the issue of profit maximization, but reflect ethical issues against the background of the interest of all effected persons or groups (moral point of view).
2. Against the background of an enormous cultural heterogeneity in a diverse moral world, business ethics has to develop a moral point of view that take into the current practices of the actors within a given society or community without accepting relativism between moral values.
3. Business ethics has to develop moral principles that are consistent with each other.

1.4 Explaining variables

In correspondence to the above, we set the following variables to explain the quality of management ethical concepts:

- Disciplinary integration
- Theoretical integration
- Applicability and justification

As, “there is nothing more practical than a good theory”[30] especially in terms of man­agement, a concept of management ethics not just needs to be well applicable, but as well needs to satisfy the basic criteria for a scientific theory. Since we assume, theoretic- ity and the above mentioned explaining variables are connected, a lack of the latter get automatically penalized.

2 The integrative corporate social performance con­cept

2.1 Responsibility or responsiveness

To begin the analysis of the corporate social performance concept, it is worth mentioning that Frederick (1978) illustrated a clear picture of the situation of management theory which is facing questions concerning the relation of the broad field of business with society. This work is important for the following CSP research[31] of management theorists (nearly exclusively professors for management of North-American graduate schools of business administration) concerning the business-society relationship.[32] A brief scan of the former, therefore serves as a good foundation for a closer understanding of the latter.

The initial point of Frederick (1978) argument is a difficult to define term called corporate social responsibility. It took shape sometime in the 1920’s when business repre­sentatives made it public, that it is important for business managers to service more than just the stockholders, but also principals from somewhere within society (so-called “social claimants”). Hence, they would face the “obligation to provide ‘service’ beyond profits.” What kind of service, is anything but clearly defined. However, you could say, it is volun­tary or has to do with a certain “philanthropy” or “social betterment.” A quasi definition of corporate social responsibility (called from now CSR1) in the sense of Frederick (1987) can be given as follows.

CSR1 (Corporate social responsibility) - critical rational (normative ethical):

- The corporation acts as an agent of moral principles, which get determined by highly normative methodology (for example, critical normative discernment).
- Primacy of rationality.

This result is unsatisfying for management theory, as its theoretical aim, normally is the elaboration of applicable value maximizing concepts (concerning the corporation, resp. its stakeholders). The quality of such concepts depends on their efficiency. As follows, CSR1 cannot be effective in the sense of mainstream management theory. Hence, the theory faces sever difficulties working with this concept, because of incommensurability^.

Whereas the incommensurability of paradigmst, according to Thomas S. Kuhn, must neither represent “limited objectivity [n]or continuity in a field (post-paradigm scientists go out of their way to demonstrate continuity to their students).”[33] Hence, scholars of one theoretical family are prone to get stigmatized by the others, because of strongly diverting axiomatic assumptions (vice versa). This is the case although they may share the same object of investigation and could maybe prosper by mutual insights.

Three fundamental problems of managerial business theory with CSR1, can be stated, according to Frederick (1978):

1. The content of CSR1 is nearly nondescript.
2. The institutionalizing of CSR1 is nearly impossible.
3. The relation (possible trade-off) of CSR1 and economic efficiency is indistinct.

As follows, there is no motivation for actors of management theory to engage in CSR1. However, to solve this incommensurability, investigations were made by management theory scholars. In other words, researchers tried to transfer the incompatible question of CSR1 into a question, that is compatible with the theory of management. Blake (1974) as well as Ackerman and Bauer (1976) were one of the first developers of such concepts, henceforth called corporate social responsiveness (CSR2). Although this sounds very reductive, the idea of the conceptual adjustment of CSR1 to the management framework is to isolate the parts from CSR1 the latter cannot cover, to get a result, that can be operationalised. In this sense, the isolation of normative ethics from CSR1 results in CSR2, which is merely descriptive.34 With this logic (the outsourcing/disintegration of the normative ethical question), management theory engages itself (even though, in a paradox way) to “integrate” the business-society question. The scholars of this theory saw it as a “genuine replacement for the idea of ‘responsibility” and therefore as a Kuhnian paradigm shift.[35] A quasi definition can be made as follows:

CSR2 (Corporate social responsiveness) - economic rational[36] (positive economic):

- The corporation acts as an agent for the socio-economic most relevant principals, which get determined by positivist economic methodology.[37]

- Primacy of the sensually perceivable.

CSR2, indeed, faces some reductions in terms of the business-society relationship. In short, they can be subcategorized as follows (in logical order):[38]

- Disintegration (outsourcing) of normative ethical questions.
- Instrumental defect concerning an autarkic deliberation of normative ethical questions.

CSR1 and CSR2 reflect the polar ends of the socio-economic discussion related to the (American) foundations of the corporate social responsibility concept. However, as eth­ical rationality as well as economic rationality both are supposed to be entrepreneurial relevant, Frederick pointed to the hope and possibility for a future theory, comprised from CSR1 and CSR2 (to some kind of CSR3).

In the following subsection it is described how accomplishing this was tried using three central attempts, which together formulate the CSP concept.

2.2 Descriptive analysis

2.2.1 The corporate social performance concept

Carroll (1979) - CSP, the invention of an integrative concept

The main contribution of the conceptual paper of Carroll (1979) to the CSR discussion, first, is to distinguish and collect three different aspects of general CSR viewpoints and second, to gather them into a three-dimensional model. The outcome of this CSR re­formulation is the model, which he defines as indicating corporate social performance (henceforth, abbreviated as CSP).[39]

The latter consists of the dimensions social responsibility categories, social issues in­volved and philosophy of responsiveness. Although, the quadripartite responsibilities of corporations (economic, legal, ethical, discretionary[40 ) within the first dimension are “not mutually exclusive ... history of business suggests an early emphasis on the economic and then legal aspects and a later concern for the ethical and discretionary aspects.” In other words, social responsibility is simultaneously demanded from society in all four categories, however, with declining importance[41]. According to the argumentation of Carroll, these social responsibilities merely exist through the expectations that the corporate environ­ment is formulating.[42] The social issues involved, described by the second dimension, are subject to constant change affected by the actual value conception of the surrounding society.[43] Therefore, it is the task of managerial and social performance to define and


[1] Thesis in the course of the Diploma examination for students of Business Administration at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen

[2] Schneider (1987), p. 39; tr. by the author.

[3] As this thesis exclusively discusses business management theory, with the term “management”, hence­forth the latter is meant.

[4] Doring and Wohe (2005), p. 2; tr. by the author.

[5] Cf. Neus (2005), pp. 3-7; emphasis added; tr. by the author.

[6] Ibid.; tr. by the author.

[7] Ibid., p. 12; tr. by the author.

[8] Cf. Schneider (1987), p. 38.

[9] Henceforth, efficiency is used analogously to the principle of economic rationality.

[10] Cf. Macharzina and Wolf (2008), p. 43; tr. by the author.

[11] Staehle (1999), p. 71; tr. by the author.

[12] Cf. the overview of nine different definitions of management by the contemporary management literature, which Macharzina and Wolf (2008), p. 36 give.

[13] Cf. Staehle (1999), pp. 72-73.

[14] In the case of non-incorporated or private firms, they, so to speak, act as “their own agents”; man­agement theory, however, relates instead to incorporated companies.

[15] Cf. Macharzina and Wolf (2008), pp. XVIII-XXVI; tr. by the author.

[16] Cf. Macharzina and Wolf (2008), p. 117.

[17] Schneider (1987), p. 37; tr. by the author.

[18] Schneider (1987), pp. 53-63.

[19] Cf. Hoffe (1992), pp. 61-62; tr. by the author.

[20] Hoffe (1992), pp. 185-87; tr. by the author.

[21] According to Aristotle, moral virtues are not rigid or objective computable patterns of behavior. They are the differences relative to temperament, ability and location-open approaches to newly and autonomously find “the right middle” within the respective socio-cultural and personal situation between the two extremes excess and lack, in which the human being would miss her/himself (Höffe, 1992, p. 281; tr. by the author).

[22] Hoffe (1992), pp. 181-85; tr. by the author.

[23] Cf. Spohn (1993).

[24] Max-Neef (2005), citing Schulz (no date).

[25] Ibid., pp. 11-15.

[26] It is important to understand this terminology correctly. With mere empirical theory of business ethics they, e.g., refer to “management research on the punishment of individuals in organizations [that] is dominated by behavioral learning theory perspectives that focus almost exclusively on whether or not punishment is effective (in the sense of controlling or changing behavior), rather than on whether or not it is morally proper.” (Cf. ibid., p. 131.) Such a theory of ‘business ethics’ obviously has not very much in common with any ethical rationality, i.e., ethics in this case is not used in an scientific or analytical sense of modern philosophy, but rather describes some random practical method (in the latter case - of business) independent of its normative ethical justification. Distinct to such custom, within the diploma thesis the word ethics refers to the terminus technicus of modern philosophy.

[27] Cf. ibid., pp. 129-30, 135-137; my emphasis.

[28] Cf. also Schumann (2004, pp. 156-60) for a more economic-ethical interpretation.

[29] Concerning new scientific technologies and their critical justification Höffe (1994, p. 51) conducts (tr. by the author): Due to the yet unknown risks and hence eerie threat, risk research may need to transfer, first to a known and therefore, manageable risk and, second, to a controllable one. As long it [justification/reasoning] is not successful in both steps, new methods of science are ethically as responsible as cars, which are relinquish to traffic before anyone considers if they need brakes.

[30] Beschorner (2006), p. 128; emphasis added.

[31] Kurt Zadek Lewin.

[32] I.e., corporate social performance concept. It is situated within the CSR (corporate social responsi­bility ) research tradition.

[33] Cf. Frederick (1978), p. 151-154.

[34] Durbin (1988), p. 223.

[35] In the words of Frederick (1978), p. 155 (emphasis added): The many philosophic imponderables of the CSR1 debate - why? whether? for whose benefit? according to which moral principles? - are replaced by the more answerable considerations of CSR2 - how? by what means? with what effect? according to which operational guidelines?

[36] Frederick (1987), p. 154.

[37] Neus (2007), p. 4.

[38] Cf. Frederick (1987), pp. 160-61.

[39] Cf. ibid.; with Frederick (1978) and the CSP scholars, the term “business-society relation­ship/question” refers to corporate social responsibility in the broadest sense.

[40] Cf. Carroll (1979), pp. 399-401.

[41] Discretionary (according to the dictionary): Decided according to the judgement of a person in authority about what is necessary in each particular situation; not decided by rules (Wehmeier, 2005, p. 235).

[42] I.e., if there is no demand for social responsibility formulated, there is no social responsibility for the corporation to which it may respond (with supply).

[43] “For example, product safety, occupational safety and health, and corporate ethics were not of major interest as recently as a decade ago” (Carroll, 1979, p. 501).


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University of Tubingen – Chair of Bank Management and International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)
Integration Separation Applied Theories Management Ethics



Title: Integration or Separation?