Title: Economics, ethics and business ethics: a critique of interrelationships

Authors: Praveen Kulshreshtha

Addresses: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 247 667, Uttaranchal, India

Abstract: Present-day economic thinking assumes that individuals always pursue their narrow self-interest or private economic incentives, and hence ignores the influence of ethical motives, such as sympathy and public interest, on human action. This paper focuses on the divergence between economic incentives and ethical motives for action in contemporary life and business. The paper underscores the nature of interrelationships among economics, ethics and business ethics, and highlights the relevance of ancient ethical principles, such as ethics of interdependence and ethics of prudence or self-development, to the development of present-day business ethics. The paper also emphasises the importance of the convergence between economic incentives and ethical motives for action, while stressing the need for a deeper appreciation of business ethics in today|s rapidly globalising world.

Keywords: business ethics; economic incentives; ethics of interdependence; ethics of prudence; ethics of self-development; economics; ethical motives; globalisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2007.011932

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2007 Vol.3 No.1, pp.33 - 41

Published online: 01 Jan 2007 *

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