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The impossibility of corporate ethics: for a Levinasian approach to managerial ethics

Bevan, David and Corvellec, Hervé LU (2007) In Business Ethics. A European Review 16(3). p.208-219
Abstract
The moral philosophy of Levinas offers a stark prospectus of impossibility for corporate ethics. It differs from most traditional ethical theories in that, for Levinas, the ethical develops in a personal meeting of one with the Other, rather than residing in some internal deliberation of the moral subject. Levinasian ethics emphasises an infinite personal responsibility arising for each of us in the face of the Other and in the presence of the Third. It stresses the imperious demand we experience to be open to, prepared for and impassioned with that which we may not know, or recognise, about ourselves or about the Other. Such a demand transcends our intellectual and/or rational potential; it involves us in a carnal and somatic bodily... (More)
The moral philosophy of Levinas offers a stark prospectus of impossibility for corporate ethics. It differs from most traditional ethical theories in that, for Levinas, the ethical develops in a personal meeting of one with the Other, rather than residing in some internal deliberation of the moral subject. Levinasian ethics emphasises an infinite personal responsibility arising for each of us in the face of the Other and in the presence of the Third. It stresses the imperious demand we experience to be open to, prepared for and impassioned with that which we may not know, or recognise, about ourselves or about the Other. Such a demand transcends our intellectual and/or rational potential; it involves us in a carnal and somatic bodily experience of otherness. If we are to speak of Levinasian ethics in a business context, it cannot be a matter of corporate ethics but only a matter of individual managerial ethics. What such an ethics would be like is yet to be outlined. This paper proposes a series of questions and suggestions that will explicate some key terms of a practice organised around a Levinasian vocabulary of otherness, responsibility, proximity, diachrony and justice. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Responsibilities, Business ethics, Organization Studies, Management styles
in
Business Ethics. A European Review
volume
16
issue
3
pages
208 - 219
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN
1467-8608
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c4ee9e54-f347-40be-9c3f-d0fce5ec99d4 (old id 598657)
date added to LUP
2007-12-05 20:41:50
date last changed
2016-10-11 08:28:26
@article{c4ee9e54-f347-40be-9c3f-d0fce5ec99d4,
  abstract     = {The moral philosophy of Levinas offers a stark prospectus of impossibility for corporate ethics. It differs from most traditional ethical theories in that, for Levinas, the ethical develops in a personal meeting of one with the Other, rather than residing in some internal deliberation of the moral subject. Levinasian ethics emphasises an infinite personal responsibility arising for each of us in the face of the Other and in the presence of the Third. It stresses the imperious demand we experience to be open to, prepared for and impassioned with that which we may not know, or recognise, about ourselves or about the Other. Such a demand transcends our intellectual and/or rational potential; it involves us in a carnal and somatic bodily experience of otherness. If we are to speak of Levinasian ethics in a business context, it cannot be a matter of corporate ethics but only a matter of individual managerial ethics. What such an ethics would be like is yet to be outlined. This paper proposes a series of questions and suggestions that will explicate some key terms of a practice organised around a Levinasian vocabulary of otherness, responsibility, proximity, diachrony and justice.},
  author       = {Bevan, David and Corvellec, Hervé},
  issn         = {1467-8608},
  keyword      = {Responsibilities,Business ethics,Organization Studies,Management styles},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {208--219},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Business Ethics. A European Review},
  title        = {The impossibility of corporate ethics: for a Levinasian approach to managerial ethics},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2007},
}