Towards a model of moral progressivism: Exploring the relationship between ethical business decision making and an applied framework of moral development

by Gilbert, Christopher K., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2006, 198 pages; 3239059


Evolving moral standards mandate consideration of ethics from a dynamic perspective. The traditional, philosophically based frameworks of Subjectivism, Relativism, Consequentialism, Virtuism, and Universalism often serve as conflictive ideologies devoid of the demonstrated human capacity for progressive moral development. Research shows they support situational morality and ethically inconsistent choices. This makes them less effective for application to ethical decision making.

Individuals evaluate information more critically when it has personal meaning. Stages in the cognitive ethics decision making process are influenced by external and internal factors including an awareness of and empathy for stakeholders. The perceived proximity between decision maker and stakeholder is reduced as individuals apply higher moral level rationale to their choices. Therefore, individual knowledge of the capacity for moral progress can serve as an evaluative catalyst for higher moral level behaviors.

This study examined the influence personal knowledge of an applied framework of moral development, Moral Progressivism has in ethical decision making in business. Overall results demonstrate a positive difference between individuals utilizing personal perspectives and Moral Progressivism as frameworks for effective ethical decision making as opposed to those utilizing the standard education or training in traditional ethical perspectives.

AdviserBill Reid
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsPhilosophy; Management
Publication Number3239059

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