The Role of Existentialism in Ethical Business Decision-Making
Posted: 31 Dec 2001
This paper presents an integrated model of ethical decision-making in business that incorporates teleological, deontological and existential theory. Existentialism has been curiously overlooked by many scholars in the field despite the fact that it is so fundamentally a theory of choice. We argue that it is possible to seek good organisational ends (teleology), through the use of right means (deontology), and enable the decision-maker to do so authentically (existentialism). More specifically, we provide a framework that will enable the decision-maker to integrate the various ethical schools of thought available to them and to apply this framework in the ethical decision-making process. The model presented makes explicit the existential position of choice and takes into account other contextual moderating factors. Negative Option Marketing is used as a running application to illustrate the role of existentialism in the decision-making process.
JEL Classification: M14
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