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Part IV

Conceptual considerations

Introduction

In retrospect, it is interesting to consider what the founders of the self-conscious academic business ethics discipline took to be the cornerstones of their field’s subject matter. An outgrowth of the business-and-society literature and the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement, the emergent business ethics focused almost exclusively on for-profit corporations whose shares are traded on public exchanges. This focus had a variety of consequences for what were taken to be central topics of business ethics. From the for-profit emphasis comes much ethical analysis of the profit motive and whether its effects are pro- or anti-social. From the corporate emphasis comes an identification ...

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