My name is Robert Folger,
I am a distinguished alumnus and
endowed professor in business
ethics in the department of management
at the University of Central Florida.
And this is the presentation
on business ethics.
When business schools first chose
to include ethics as a topic,
they began by hiring philosophers.
Philosophical ethics focuses on normative
issues of right and wrong good and
bad, the ideas that
are called prescriptive,
they refer to how we ought
to treat one another.
Using philosophical analysis to come
up with reasons why we should and
should not do things, however,
is not the same as conducting
research on what people actually do.
The research approach to business ethics
is empirical in the sense of an effort
to learn something from observations
of human behavior by using
Teaching business school students about
the full range of modern research
discoveries is not yet very widespread,
that's what this presentation
is mostly about.
We can refer to two very broad categories
of philosophical approaches to ethics as
perspectives on what is
the right way to behave, and
the nature of what's good that we should
want to have happened, if we're ethical.
With or without formal training in
philosophy, business school professors
will commonly address ethics topics by
going into some aspects of normative,
prescriptive analyses from philosophy.
Covering that ground is
useful in at least two ways.
First, it can help students to
recognize why and when ethics matters,
or how business practices might
have an ethical aspect to them.
Second, it can help students in being
familiar with some ethical perspectives
they might consider when they face
the ethical aspects of business practices.
My brief way to discuss normative
philosophies is to say that they