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Ethics Theory and Business Practice 5.3 Virtue Theory – Part Three Virtue, Work Practices, and Human Flourishing.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics Theory and Business Practice 5.3 Virtue Theory – Part Three Virtue, Work Practices, and Human Flourishing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics Theory and Business Practice 5.3 Virtue Theory – Part Three Virtue, Work Practices, and Human Flourishing

2 aims to consider the how the achievement of excellence in practices delivers internal and external goods, which help people to flourish to explain how the prioritization of external goods in business might inhibit the cultivation of virtue, the attainment of excellence, and the achievement of internal goods to outline some practical steps that managers can take to encourage virtue in business

3 human flourishing internal goods: e.g. enjoyment, satisfaction, exhilaration, and personal development external goods: e.g. money and status

4 a practice ‘any coherent and complex form of socially established, cooperative human activity’ (MacIntyre, 1985: 187) some leisure practices: some work practices: excellence in practices enables the achievement of internal goods and external goods

5 excellence in practices human flourishing internal goods external goods

6 practices, excellence, and community practices and the standards of excellence that prevail within them are created, developed and sustained by communities of practitioners

7 practices and virtue ‘A virtue is an acquired human quality the possession and exercise of which tends to enable us to achieve those goods which are internal to practices and the lack of which effectively prevents us from achieving any such goods’ (MacIntyre, 1985: 191)

8 practitioner’s flourishing internal goods external goods excellence in practices virtue

9 some differences between internal goods and external goods internal goodsexternal goods not limited in supplylimited in supply dispersed throughout the community the possession of a practitioner can only be achieved via excellence can also be achieved by other means necessarily linked to virtuenot necessarily linked to virtue

10 practitioner’s flourishing internal goods external goods excellence in practices other people’s flourishing other means virtue

11 beware of external goods external goods are necessary to human flourishing, but: they may get prioritized over internal goods they may shift attention from the importance of excellence their pursuit may undermine virtue so, external goods need to be kept in their proper place

12 institutions institutions provide the frameworks within which practices take place some examples of institutions in relation to leisure practices: some examples of institutions in relation to work practices: it is the role of institutions to take care of external goods and to ensure they are kept in their proper place

13 theory in practice bloodgate: prioritizing external goods and the erosion of virtue

14 management and virtue to creating and sustaining a virtuous business, managers should: 1.prioritize the pursuit of excellence in the practices housed within their corporations 2.treat external goods as a means to achieving the end of excellence, rather than as an end in themselves 3.celebrate internal goods over external goods 4.resist the corrupting pressure of outside groups (Moore, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2012; Moore and Beadle, 2006)

15 key points internal goods and external goods are both necessary to human flourishing work practices offer a fruitful source of internal and external goods, so they can help people to flourish however, for people to flourish in a comprehensive way, external goods need to be kept in their proper place; they should not be permitted to become an overriding priority as far as work practices are concerned, it is the role of companies and those who run them to ensure that the quest for external goods does not get out of hand

16 references MacIntyre, A. (1985/1981) After Virtue. London: Duckworth. Moore, G. (2002) ‘On the implications of the practice- institution distinction: MacIntyre and the application of modern virtue ethics to business’, Business Ethics Quarterly, 12/1: 19–32. Moore, G. (2005) ‘Humanizing business: a modern virtue ethics approach’, Business Ethics Quarterly, 15/2: 237–55. Moore, G. (2008) ‘Re-imagining the morality of management: a modern virtue ethics approach’, Business Ethics Quarterly, 18/4: 483–511. Moore, G. (2012) ‘Virtue in business: Alliance Boots and an empirical exploration of MacIntyre’s conceptual framework’, Organization Studies, 33/3: 363–87. Moore, G. and Beadle, R. (2006) ‘In Search of organizational virtue in business: agents, goods, practices, institutions and environments’, Organization Studies, 27/3: 369–89.


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