n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - The business case for business ethics

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



The objective of this article is to identify the motivational forces that drive the current organisational interest in business ethics. Early speculations on the cause for this phenomenon indicated that the initial interest in business ethics was driven by a desire in the USA to avoid business scandals. In this article it is shown that the initial cause of the interest in business ethics is no longer an adequate explanation for the current surge in organisational interest in business ethics. A number of other factors have since become prominent. A realisation of the cost of immorality to organisations, as well as the competitive advantage afforded to organisations by ethical performance, are the driving forces behind this ongoing academic and organisational concern with business ethics. It is argued that business ethics has become so strategically important to organisations that they can no longer afford to ignore it. Six such motivational forces for organisational concern with business ethics are identified and discussed.

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