In Business and Society 360 (Book 3): Business Ethics

David M. Wasieleski (Editor), James Weber (Editor)



The following chapter is aimed to explain what virtue ethics (VE) in business is, its philosophical background, its original themes, and new research opportunities. To this end, we will establish the distinctive elements of VE and its main sources and epistemological approaches. In particular, we will first describe VE in business based on Alasdair MacIntyre’s ethics and Modern VE in Business. Then, we will briefly show the Thomistic approach to VE in business and its main application to business theory. We will also consider a new epistemological proposal for VE in business in Positive Organizational Scholarship. Next, this chapter will explain briefly the original contributions VE in business makes to a theory of work and a common good theory of the firm. Finally, we will suggest new areas in which VE in business theory has not shown a significant outcome yet. Here, we will discuss new opportunities that VE authors might consider for research projects in new epistemological approaches, VE philosophers not yet studied in business ethics theory, spirituality-based theory (Jewish and Protestant mainly) and its connection with VE, and contemporary problems that firms are facing that can be enlightened from neo-Aristotelian philosophy.