Teaching the paradox of business ethics: a learning pathway to avoid a crisis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Generally, business schools teach students the principles of business and management alongside modules delivering material on business ethics. But business ethics is paradoxical because the words ‘business’ and ‘ethics’ are contradictory (Duska, 2000). This is because a Business, in the sense of a private enterprise, is the organised efforts and activities of individuals to produce and sell goods and services for profit. Hence profit is the primary consideration. Whereas the general definition of ethics is the principles and standards of moral behaviour that are accepted by society as right versus wrong (Velasquez, 2014). But the definition of business leads to a flawed ideology that incubates the pathogens of a crisis. Here I engage students in unpicking the general business ideology in order to deliver a learning journey that explores the use of ethics in business to generate a more long term profit strategy whilst avoiding or mitigating a crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmbedding Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics in Business Education
EditorsHelen Borland, Michael Butler, Caroline Elliott, Nathalie Ormorod
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 80088 600 1
ISBN (Print)978 1 80088 599 8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2022


  • Ethics
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Sustainability
  • Education


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