In this chapter I argue that moral decision making in management should not be portrayed as a scientific or technically rational process involving the application of ethical norms to ethical problems. Rather ethical judgements require managers to use phronesis (practical reasoning) when applying normative criteria to the inevitably unique circumstances of any case. Moreover, I argue that such judgments are complex and fundamentally aporetic (perplexing). To begin I define ‘ethics’ and refer to examples of ethical dilemmas. I then discuss the problems posed by attempts to inflexibly apply ethical norms to such dilemmas, especially in global contexts. Consequently, I refer readers to decision making models that writers have put forward as aids to decency but warn decent managers to avoid the tyranny of guidelines. I then discuss the role phronesis should play in moral judgement and the inevitability of aporia. I conclude with suggestions for developing managers’ practical wisdom.
|Title of host publication||Engagement & Change|
|Subtitle of host publication||exploring management, economic and finance implications of a globalising environment|
|Place of Publication||Bowen Hills, Queensland|
|Publisher||Australian Academic Press|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2007|