The Best Work of the Best Minds: Business Ethics and Value Creation

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Philosophy professor and entrepreneur Stephen Hicks takes a critical look at unquestioned assumptions in the arena of business ethics. (This book was first published in 2002). 

Excerpt from The Best Work of the Best Minds: Business Ethics and Value Creation: 

"In the eyes of many a cloud of suspicion hangs over business. 

The reason is that the moral tradition out of which the competence ethic of business arises conflicts with a competing moral tradition that holds business to be immoral or, at best, amoral. For those who subscribe to this latter moral tradition, ethics is felt to be more a matter of stoically doing one's duty rather than having fun, of fulfilling one's obligations rather than fulfilling yourself, of obeying the rules rather than doing what's practical, of giving away rather than creating. Stooping to stereotypes, if this tradition's view of ethics could be personified, she would appear as a matron who goes about sniffing disapprovingly at anyone who seems to be having a good time. Having a good time means self-indulgence—but, she would declare, we are not here to have a good time; we are here to serve others, to be stewards for future generations, to be nice, to take up as little space in the world as possible. Above all, she would continue, we are here to sacrifice selflessly—to society as a whole, to God, for the greatest happiness of the greatest number, to Duty, to the working class, to the ecosystem." 

ABOUT STEPHEN HICKS: 
Stephen Hicks, Ph.D. is Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University and the Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. He received his honours B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Guelph, Canada, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Indiana University, Bloomington. Hicks is the author of numerous essays in magazines and scholarly journals. He’s also the author of Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004; expanded edition 2011), the documentary Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010), and the co-editor of The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998).