Virtue and vice attributions in the business context: An experimental investigation

Journal article


Robinson, Brian, Stey, Paul and Alfano, Mark. (2013). Virtue and vice attributions in the business context: An experimental investigation. Journal of Business Ethics. 113(4), pp. 649 - 661. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1676-4
AuthorsRobinson, Brian, Stey, Paul and Alfano, Mark
Abstract

Recent findings in experimental philosophy have revealed that people attribute intentionality, belief, desire, knowledge, and blame asymmetrically to side-effects depending on whether the agent who produces the side-effect violates or adheres to a norm. Although the original (and still common) test for this effect involved a chairman helping or harming the environment, hardly any of these findings have been applied to business ethics. We review what little exploration of the implications for business ethics has been done. Then, we present new experimental results that expand the attribution asymmetry to virtue and vice. We also examine whether it matters to people that an effect was produced as a primary or side-effect, as well as how consumer habits might be affected by this phenomenon. These results lead to the conclusion that it appears to be in a businessperson’s self-interest to be virtuous.

Keywordsattributions; knobe effect; side-effect; side-effect effect; vice; virtue
Year2013
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Journal citation113 (4), pp. 649 - 661
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
ISSN0167-4544
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1676-4
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84876868015
Page range649 - 661
Research GroupInstitute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationNetherlands
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