The subject of business ethics is the reflection of ethical principles in the context of economic activity and their application to this area. The central values are humanity , solidarity and responsibility . The justification of economic ethical norms can result from the consequences of economic activity on other people and the environment or from the question of which norms can in themselves be viewed as correct. Common standards for justification are social justice and sustainability . It is not the job of business ethics to work out instructions for action. Its function is rather that of an orientation aid for current debates through reflection , methods and critical analysis .
Business ethics requires an interdisciplinary discourse in which philosophers and economists , but also other social scientists and theologians , are involved. Basically, there is a practical level on which specific issues are clarified and practical behavior assessed, as well as a theoretical level on which economic theories are ethically assessed and the relationship between ethics and economics and how this relationship can be or is discussed should.
Another important distinction is that between individual and social or institutional ethics , i.e. the responsibility of the individual towards the responsibility of companies, groups, associations, politics or society as a whole. Business ethics is concerned with how economic actors analyze, process and decide moral questions.
The theories and statements on business ethics are inconsistent and, depending on the point of view, also contradicting each other. This is due to the normative character of business ethics statements and the diversity of the underlying ethical and economic theories. In addition, the subject or the methods of business ethics are interpreted differently. It is to be distinguished from political economy , which deals with the actions of the state from an ethical point of view and the functional principles of entire national economies.
In German-speaking countries, a distinction is made between business ethics and business ethics , which specifically deal with questions of business ethics from the perspective of individual companies. In corporate ethics, on the one hand, the relationship to the company's environment is dealt with, i.e. to the market, customers and society, and on the other hand internal issues such as remuneration, environmental protection, co-determination and the working atmosphere . In English-speaking countries, “Business Ethics” has long been taught as a subject at universities. Despite the large overlaps, the focus of the English-language discussion is more on application-related and empirical issues.
The joint treatment of economic and ethical questions goes back to ancient Greek philosophy and can also be found in the original texts of the various religious communities. The concept of business ethics was first used historically by Ignaz Seipel in 1907 within the framework of Catholic social teaching . Max Weber gave the impetus for an independent social science discipline with his extensive work "The Business Ethics of World Religions". Weber understood business ethics as “the practical impulses to action based on the psychological and pragmatic contexts of religions .” He already emphasized independence as a theoretical area: “Business ethics is not a simple 'function' of economic forms of organization, just as it is not clearly the other way around shapes itself. "
In contrast to general ethics, business ethics refers to a single, specific area of life, even if this is somewhat vague. Ethics is often understood as a theory of morality , which in turn describes the normative attitudes and actions that exist in practice. Business ethics is part of both social philosophy and business philosophy. Methodologically, a distinction is made between descriptive business ethics, which deals with the existing moral phenomena and actual behavior in business, from normative business ethics, which deals with prescriptive statements and their justification. Questions about the standards of good behavior, social and global justice, solidarity , subsidiarity , recognition of the person and human dignity are discussed here. This must be distinguished once again from metatheoretical business ethics, in which concepts such as rationality or utility, freedom from value judgments and the logic of the argumentation approaches, including the question of whether business ethics is even possible, are discussed.
In the discussion about business ethics, three types of understanding of the term have developed:
- Ethics of the economy - as a normative determination of the economic system
- Ethics in the economy - as a determination of whether and how ethical norms are to be applied by economic actors
- Economy of Ethics - as the application of economic methods to the field of ethics
Depending on the object of investigation, one further distinguishes between one
- Macro level : Statements about ethical principles in a society and entire economic systems, for example with regard to the role of property or public goods, market or planned economy or issues of redistribution through taxes and duties
- Meso level: Consideration of companies and individual institutions such as trade unions and associations and the indirect effects of cooperative action
- Micro level : Investigation of the actions of individual individuals, especially with regard to responsibilities
Basic questions of business ethics
An action is considered to be rational if it can be used to achieve a certain goal in the best possible way based on one's own conviction and on the basis of consistent ( coherent ) argumentation . Problems with the concept of rationality lie in the fact that different values, different, sometimes contradicting goals, and methods that differ from one another can lead to conflicts for individual people, but above all for groups and social institutions, for which there is no clear solution. Such conflicting goals are already in the beginning in the question of business ethics due to the juxtaposition of ethics on the one hand and economy on the other.
Economic rationality is usually understood as pure end-means rationality, which follows the economic principle , according to which one would like to achieve maximum benefit with available means or to realize a certain goal with minimal effort. The concentration on a purely instrumental rationality leads to an ethical egoism that ignores other value levels ( community , solidarity , freedom and justice ) and target systems ( meaning of life , peace , religion ). Economists mostly emphasize that such considerations only serve as a model for the development of economic theories and are therefore by no means representing an anthropological view.
Exclusion of ethical principles from actions directly directed towards the market is often justified with reference to the “laws of the market” and to practical constraints that are inevitable for survival in the market. Ludwig Erhard and Alfred Müller-Armack , co-founders of the social market economy , advocated the thesis: “Doing business in itself is free of moral content”. Max Weber has already vividly described this mechanism:
- “Today's capitalist economic order is a tremendous cosmos into which the individual is born and which is given for him, at least as an individual, as a de facto unchangeable housing in which he has to live. To the extent that he is intertwined in the context of the market, he forces the norms of his economic activity on the individual. The manufacturer who constantly contradicts these norms is economically just as infallible as the worker who cannot or does not want to adapt to them is thrown onto the street as an unemployed person. "
Critics, on the other hand, maintain that such models as that of Homo oeconomicus do not offer sufficient explanations for economic activity, since this is largely determined by values and social norms. In addition, theories based solely on economic rationality neglect negative side effects of such specific actions on other areas of life such as the environment or social structures. Carl Amery noted the economization of all areas of life through the elevation of capitalism to a substitute religion. This leads to an “all-pervasive economism , which only allows it to apply and only produces what pays off, and prevents and destroys everything that doesn't pay off”.
Values and science
In the history of economic theories, the question of whether and to what extent values (should) play a role in theory formation has been discussed controversially several times.
The methodological dispute in political economy became particularly well known , in which the question was whether a historical analysis is a prerequisite for the formation of economic theories, from which systematics and regularities can only be inductively derived. This position was mainly represented by Gustav von Schmoller , the leading representative of the younger historical school of economics, who at the same time advocated controlling intervention by the state in economic events. On the other side were Carl Menger and other representatives of the Austrian School that emerged in the course of the debate , who took the view that it is possible for the field of economics by analyzing individual human actions to deductively derive generally applicable and unchangeable market laws without historical references . Linked to this view was the demand for free markets that were as uninfluenced by the state as possible.
- "[...] it shouldn't surprise anyone when the people perish because of selfish little and poor people, because of ossification and selfishness, namely first of all falling apart and ceasing to be a people: in their place then perhaps systems of individual egoisms, fraternities for the purpose of predatory exploitation of non-brothers and similar creations of utilitarian meanness will appear on the scene of the future. "
Schmoller, on the other hand, advocated an improvement in the social situation , was one of the founders of the Verein für Socialpolitik and one of the Kathedersozialisten who had a decisive influence on the Prussian social reforms . In his view, science must also make statements about the way in which social values can be promoted so that parties and classes converge in order to avoid revolutions .
At the beginning of the 20th century, a second well-known controversy arose within the Verein für Socialpolitik, the dispute over value judgments . Above all, Max Weber and Werner Sombart criticized Schmoller's position. In their view, values (goals) and the results of empirical research should be clearly separated. Task of empirical science is facts demonstrate and to highlight their consequences, but never "to determine binding norms and ideals in order to derive the practice recipes." The definition of the objectives is the task of politicians.
Another, similar controversy took place in the positivism dispute between representatives of critical rationalism and the Frankfurt School in the 1960s. The main focus was on the objectivity of elementary observation data on the one hand and the scientific necessity to grasp society as a totality on the other. The fact that scientific theories necessarily contain value judgments was not a point of contention for either side.
The relationship between ethics and economics
Many positions on business ethics depend on how they determine the relationship between ethics and economics. Both are theories of human action. In ethics, the question of meaning and a good life as well as the right relationships between people is in the foreground. The economy primarily relies on the best possible fulfillment of self-interest and compares the ratio of individual benefits with the corresponding costs. This regularly results in conflicting goals. The problem to be solved includes the question of whether the ethical goals or the economic goals have priority. Annemarie Pieper distinguishes three positions that can be taken to evaluate the relationship between moral and economic actions:
(1) Morality and economy are two aspects of one and the same structure of action.
(2) Moral acts and economic acts form two separate, independent classes of acts that can be examined independently of one another.
(3) Economic actions form a separate class of actions, but they are nonetheless committed to the principle of morality.
Pieper considers, on the one hand, Aristotle as a theory of type (1) , for whom every action is primarily based on the principle of a successful life and the orientation towards virtues as the highest human good (Nicomachean Ethics, I, 6). For Aristotle, practice meant the unity of ethics, politics and economics. He saw pure pursuit of wealth as unnatural (Politics, I, 9). Similarly, it is true of utilitarianism that every act has an aspect of benefit and thus a moral effect. Pieper quotes Mill : "The view for which the usefulness or the principle of greatest happiness is the basis of morality says that actions are moral insofar and to the extent that they tend to promote happiness." Whereas with Aristotle Ethics and economics offer two perspectives on an action, for the utilitarian they are united on the scale of utility. The ethical and economic value of an act are identical.
Pieper assigns the second type to the physiocrats , who have developed their own economic cycle theory that is independent of morality. She also assigns Adam Smith to this category, since the market forms a self-regulating system for him, even if this has to be given a framework by the government. In Smith's view, sympathy and morals determine a class of actions of their own. According to Pieper, the economic theory of Marx and Friedrich Engels can also be assigned to this type. Their theory of value, the critique of alienation, property and the relationships of domination, is not based on a moral theory, but rather economic development is thought of as a necessary, dialectical process in history.
As a third type, Pieper finally describes the ethics of principles, which is derived from Kant and found expression, for example, in the theory of justice by John Rawls or in the ethics of discourse ( Apel / Habermas ).
Almost all conceivable answers to the relationship between ethics and economics can also be found in the more recent business ethical concepts, which are briefly addressed in the following theses:
- Economy is a system with its own constraints, in which ethical action leads to disadvantages. Ethics is an independent discourse that must have an impact on the framework. ( Karl Homann )
- Ethics serve to broaden the horizon and optimize the functions of the economy. Ethics is limited to the framework and individual ethics. ( Bruno Molitor )
- Economics and ethics are independent areas that have to resolve their conflicts cooperatively in a dialogue. The improvement of morale occurs through strengthening virtues. ( Horst Steinmann )
- Economics and ethics are mutually penetrating and corrective systems. It takes ethics to correct market failures . On the other hand, economic knowledge influences ethical positions. ( Peter Koslowski )
- There is an inextricable tension between economics and ethics, which can only be balanced through appropriate incentive systems. ( Josef Wieland )
- Ethics dictates to the economy the demand for equal opportunities. However, ethical requirements must also take into account the economic consequences. ( Amartya Sen )
- Economy is only a part of the whole of life and is therefore subordinate to the higher-ranking values of ethics. But ethics must take into account the elementary economic necessities. ( Oswald von Nell-Breuning )
- Economics must follow a humane model of ethics. Man is the originator, center and goal of all economy. The common good takes precedence over the special interests of individuals. ( Joseph Höffner )
- Ethics precedes economics and serves to limit the economic rationality principle. Problems that arise from the economy are to be solved through discourse. ( Peter Ulrich )
- Economics is a branch of ethics and has to be subordinated to the more comprehensive theory of action and goods of ethics. The application of economic principles such as maximizing utility is only permitted within the framework of ethical objectives. ( Eilert Herms )
Joseph Ratzinger points out that in the discussion about business ethics one can often find representatives who either come from the field of philosophy or belong to economics. This often leads to misunderstandings because the technical knowledge of the other area is insufficient. "A morality that thinks it can skip the knowledge of the economic laws is not morality, but moralism, ie the opposite of morality".
- “The thing has a name: business ethics. And a secret, namely their rules. But my guess is that it belongs to the kind of apparitions like raison d'être or English cuisine, which appear in the form of a secret, because they have to keep secret that they do not exist at all. "
Topics of business ethics
The questions to be assessed in terms of content in practice by business ethics show an enormous variety. The topics include poverty, hunger and thirst, child mortality, violation of human rights, population growth, unemployment, epidemics, migration and displacement, environmental destruction, climate change, lack of energy, corruption, child labor, prostitution, animal welfare (seal hunt, overfishing , ivory), drug cultivation and -consumption, wars (also by warlords), organized crime, fundamentalism, terrorism. In the following, only a few topics of fundamental importance can be addressed in more detail.
Personal responsibility in the welfare and welfare state
In Germany, the principle of the welfare state is laid down in the Basic Law: "The constitutional order in the countries must correspond to the principles of the republican, democratic and social constitutional state within the meaning of this Basic Law." ( sentence 1 GG ). The welfare state is understood to mean the entirety of state institutions, control measures and norms in order to achieve the goal of cushioning life risks and negative social consequences. With this provision, however, the content is still open. The welfare state is often equated with the welfare state . There is, however, a material difference in terms of the terms used to shape the economic conditions of a society. While the welfare state is supposed to ensure that help is provided to people in emergency situations they can no longer cope with on their own, the welfare state includes services that actively promote the social, material and cultural well-being of citizens. The concept of the welfare state is basically based on the citizens' personal responsibility. The state only intervenes when the citizen is no longer able to exercise his or her personal responsibility to a sufficient degree ( subsidiarity ).
In the welfare state, part of the area of personal responsibility is replaced by welfare measures by the state. The active intervention of the state in the lives of citizens is also controversial from an ethical point of view. Wilhelm Röpke , one of the “fathers of the social market economy”, viewed the welfare state as a continuation of ( then ) socialism with other means: “The welfare state of today is not a mere expansion of the old social security and welfare institutions, such as those in Germany had been created by Bismarck. In the meantime it has become an instrument of the social revolution in more and more countries, the aim of which is the most complete equality of income and wealth [...]. ”And Ludwig Erhard also warned:“ This urge and inclination is more suitable than anything else real human virtues: a willingness to take responsibility, love for one's neighbor and human beings, the desire for probation, the willingness to take care of oneself and a lot more good things to gradually but surely let die - and in the end there is perhaps not the classless, but the soulless mechanized society.
Economic systems are determined politically. “The question of the economic order is inextricably linked to the political and overall order of life that we strive for. It is important today to gain clarity about how little it is possible to realize the ideals of human freedom and personal dignity if the economic order that we chose contradicts this. ”According to the Freiburg ordoliberalism, the spectrum of variants extends from the pure central administration economy up to a pure market economy . From a business ethical perspective, it will be discussed to what extent the various forms contribute to the well-being of people and support social justice . The role of an “active state” in the economic process is assessed differently. Wilhelm Röpke warns of state interference: “The immense danger of this sick pluralism is that the interest groups will surround the state with desire - like the modern suitors of Penelope. The further the limits of the state's competence are drawn and the greater its power, the more interesting it becomes as an object of this desire. ”On the other hand, the thesis is:“ The more a welfare state regulates economic exchange, the more social law it enacts and ever The more intensively the income is redistributed, the sooner it is possible for socially and economically disadvantaged people to be able to shape their own lives independently to a certain extent, free from the makeshift support of other private individuals and the constant fear of social decline. ”For Ludwig Erhard was The market economy is social, because the citizens do not depend on government grants, on the goodwill of parties, on paternalism by organizations or on the caring questioning of national communities. Oskar Lafontaine, on the other hand, justifies welfare state measures with the consequence of income differences: "The greater the differences in income and wealth, the greater the number of those whose social situation does not enable them to lead a free and self-determined life." The term welfare capitalism is discussed to what extent individual companies should also contribute directly to social justice.
According to Thomas Aquinas , property cannot be justified by natural law: “Everything that is against natural law is prohibited. But according to natural law all things are common property; but this commonality contradicts own ownership. So it is not allowed for humans to appropriate an external thing. ”(II / II, q. 66, a. 2, 1.) However, property is still permissible, based on the law of reason:“ Therefore, owning is not against natural law, but is added to natural law on the basis of the discovery by human reason. ”(II / II, q. 66, a. 2, ad 1.) Thomas names three reasons for property: On the one hand, property leads to a higher one Care for things. Second, ownership clearly regulates responsibilities. And finally, a property system ensures legal security. Since property is divine according to natural law, earthly property is committed to the common good and there is a strict duty to give alms.
According to John Locke , property arises on the one hand through the original occupation of land and the value of one's own work on the other. Property has a fundamental function for the formation of a state: "The great and main goal for the sake of which people unite to form a state and place themselves under a government is the preservation of property."
A similar assessment can be found in the French Revolution: “Since property is an inviolable and sacred right, it cannot be deprived of anyone unless it is clearly required by the statutory public need and just and prior compensation is given . ”(Article 17 of the Declaration of Human and Citizens' Rights ).
For the early socialist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, on the other hand, “property is theft”. For Marx and Engels, property was the cause of the alienation and exploitation of the worker: “Capital has agglomerated the population, centralized the means of production and concentrated property in a few hands. The workers, who have to sell themselves piece by piece, are a commodity like any other commodity and are therefore equally exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, all fluctuations in the market. ”They therefore saw communism primarily as a project to“ abolish private property ”
Catholic social teaching follows on from Thomas Aquinas and sees property as a necessary factor for the realization of individual freedom. At the Second Vatican Council it was established that private property - including the means of production - contributes to the “self-portrayal of the person” and creates “the absolutely necessary space for the independent shaping of the personal life of each individual and his family”; the right to property must be seen as "a kind of extension of human freedom" ( Gaudium et spes , no. 71)
Assessment of work
In the distributive justice , it's about whether the valid claims on income and assets in a group of people (a corporation, government, global) are regulated so that the parties can agree on a neutral point of view. It is felt to be unfair if someone works full-time and the wages earned do not reach the subsistence level, so that the person is dependent on public support ( combined wages ). It is also felt to be unfair when a manager of a company receives a multiple of the income of a normal worker. Critics of this are accused of leading a "envy debate". These extremes characterize the social discussion about the issues of fair wages , minimum wages and unconditional basic income . “The inequality of income means that luxury products are already being produced when the urgent needs of low-income households are still being met. So here the distribution that takes place in the competitive order needs to be corrected. “In modern industrial societies, the classic corrective systems are social insurance , a progressive tax system and various forms of direct support ( child benefit , social benefit ). There is regular political disagreement about the amount and extent of redistribution . In empirical justice research , there is increasing dissatisfaction with existing incomes. The subject of business ethics is the yardstick of appropriate remuneration and who determines it. “The decision about the wage principles is a value decision. The traceability and fairness of the wage determination procedure and the disclosure of the underlying fairness aspects appear to be more important than the absolute wage level. "Keywords for a fair income are on the one hand" equal pay for the same work "(no discrimination ) or on the other hand" performance must be worthwhile ". But the question of “needs” also plays an important role. Whether an income is considered sufficient often depends on the marital status and the number of children. However, this factor is usually not taken into account in the remuneration systems of the free economy, at best indirectly. In the public service, however, there are allowance systems for children. Referring to the results of justice research, Stephan Panter comes to the conclusion: “The market is a good institution to enlarge the cake, but it is unsuitable for us to“ vote ”on distributive justice and then to implement it.” Criteria can Equality, achievement, education, work experience, age or the market. Adam Smith names five factors that determine the level of wages:
- Working conditions (heavy, dirty, dangerous)
- Career opportunities
In the case of market anomalies, Walter Eucken considered minimum wages to be justified: “If anti-cyclical phenomena should nonetheless occur in a competitive labor market, the setting of minimum wages would become acute” Principles substantially weakened and in many cases solved. ”In modern political philosophy, the extremes can be found in liberalism , which largely rejects redistribution, and in egalitarianism , for which the greatest possible equal distribution should be sought as an expression of justice.
Involvement of the environment
Economic activity always has an impact on the environment. The consumption of resources, the generation of emissions, questions of animal husbandry in agriculture, nuclear energy or genetic engineering are the subject of economic activity and at the same time fundamental issues of ethical evaluation. The discussions refer to opportunities (environmental benefits) and risks (environmental pollution) that are associated with new technologies. A strong warning comes from the Polish writer Stanislaw Lem :
- “We are like children in an apartment, equipped with fuel and detonators and abandoned by their carers. Biotechnology will continue to develop, regardless of resistance. Legislative measures that inhibit such 'progress' will only take effect in civilized countries anyway. Fierce battles are being fought over the patenting of the human and non-human genome. The cultivation of human spare parts - kidneys, hearts, muscles, limbs, livers - continues. The “human dignity” upheld by church dignitaries is gradually being overridden by biotechnology. Instead there will be many monstrosities, transgenic horror creatures. To use a metaphor: the terrible, demiurgic spirit will not close in any legislatively designed “bottle”. "
The criticism of the belief in progress had an essential impetus in the study of the limits to growth of the Club of Rome . The outrage over neglecting the ecological consequences of economic activity has led to a change in the political landscape, especially in Europe, together with the corresponding environmental associations and parties. The question of the future viability of human society under keywords such as climate catastrophe , biodiversity , peak oil , ozone hole , forest dieback, etc. is open. Pessimistic assessments are opposed to the conviction of controllability through technological innovations. A post-growth economy that pushes for absolute reductions in material throughputs and GDP and wants to set "new needs" instead of consumption needs is opposed to a "Green New Deal" that focuses on sustainable growth through new technologies. Both models have weaknesses that can perhaps be remedied by expanding the cap and trade system from emissions trading to the overall economy ("absolute border economy"), which B. Gesang, for example, advocates in the context of utilitarian business ethics. (Bernward Gesang: "Business Ethics and Human Rights" Mohr-Siebeck, UTB, Tübingen 2016, Kpt 3.)
Environmental disasters such as Bhopal , Brent Spar , Amoco Cadiz and Chernobyl have significantly increased public awareness and support for the cause of the environmental movement. Gradually, the view has gained acceptance that sustainable management is an ethically worthwhile goal that is increasingly becoming the benchmark for economic decisions.
A new impetus for the environmental ethical assessment of economic activity was created by the idea of environmental justice , which has its sources in particular in the environmental justice movement in the USA. Originally it was about the fact that different social groups were regionally and socially differently exposed to environmental pollution. In the second step, this resulted in the requirement that all those affected should also participate in environmentally relevant decisions.
The Business Ethics is an independent area of business ethics, which should comply with the question of what moral values companies concerned. On the one hand, there is the perspective of the company's relationships with society. This raises questions about the contribution of products to the common good (critical e.g. nuclear energy, weapons, ecologically questionable products), the environmental impact of production, fairness towards the social partners ( shareholder value versus stakeholder value ) or the role in the context of globalization in the foreground. On the other hand, ethical behavior within the company is required with regard to the management principles, approval of co-determination, payment of fair wages, decent working conditions, etc.
The demands of society on a company follow the model of the honorable businessman . In addition to legality , legitimacy is clearly required, i.e. in addition to compliance with legal provisions, appropriate consideration of moral norms is required. Subcontractors with low wages, usury , balance sheet manipulation, mass layoffs, and relocations of plants abroad lead to protests and a loss of image. Even successful growth developments with high profits are criticized as taking advantage of the social partners if they are not given special consideration. Investment companies that acquire companies in order to drive up short-term results and achieve above-average profits through distributions of assets ( locust debate ), but also capital investment companies, whose connection to the real economy is hardly present, are particularly criticized . Heinrich Pesch stated as early as 1918: “And does the wealth accumulating in the hands of individuals satisfy desire? The more people they have acquired, the more greedy, more ruthless, and more unscrupulous ”. Many companies try to counteract this and have included programs for social responsibility ( Corporate Social Responsibility ) or as active members of civil society ( Corporate Citizenship ) in their organization. Such an attitude is actively promoted , among others, by the United Nations with the Global Compact program.
In the last decades of the twentieth century the awareness has grown more and more that the consumer can influence the economy and the values realized by it through his consumer behavior. An early action arose in the anti-apartheid movement with a fruit boycott suggested by the anti-apartheid opponents . With the same understanding, one-world shops were founded, which campaign against exploitation in the retail chain and for fair prices for manufacturers by selling goods from developing countries. This has resulted in a broad fair trade movement . The manufacturers of organic products in the agricultural sector are also ethically motivated, and despite higher prices they are increasingly gaining market share because the buyers see their behavior as contributing to sustainability. Other topics in this area are energy saving and sustainable investments.
Financial market ethics
Not only since the advent of financial crises is regarded finance a special - particularly critical - the interest of moral philosophers. Already Aristotle castigated the taking of interest as an "unnatural acquisition Art" Ever since the ancient times , the financial sector is also as unnatural antithesis of the real economy characterized. Early evidence of this can be found in the Bible ; B. in John 2: 13-16 (expulsion of money changers from the temple). Both Marxism and National Socialism made use of these reservations. Only recently has the positive importance of finance for ethics been recognized. In this context, the German sociologist Paul Windolf particularly emphasizes the regulatory function of the stock exchange and describes how companies are punished by falling share prices if they violate corporate governance guidelines.
Prehistory and origin
Economics was the first social science to succeed in emancipating itself from late medieval moral philosophy in the 19th century, following the example of natural sciences. It establishes itself as an autonomous economy. Since then, ethics and economics as alienated thought traditions have been in a disciplinary non-relationship: The economy is based on an economic rationality that is exclusively oriented towards efficiency . Questions of human and environmental justice are relegated to the sphere of non-economic ethics. This two-world conception of ethics and economics ignites the fundamental problem of modern business ethics: How can economic rationality be conveyed systematically with ethical-practical reason?
At the University of Münster, since the 1920s under Heinrich Weber and since 1951 under Joseph Höffner, there have been approaches to combine economics and philosophically founded business ethics. These professors had doctorates in both scientific disciplines and had the right to teach and to award doctorates in both faculties. Heinrich Weber can be regarded as a forerunner of ordoliberalism and Joseph Höffner, as a student of Walter Eucken, had a strong connection to ordoliberalism. The disciplinary non-relationship is neither necessary nor continuously ascertainable in terms of scientific history. The University of Witten / Herdecke also excelled in promoting scientific talent in the field of business ethics
Reflection on economic ethics can be traced back in terms of ideas and theory to the unity of ethics, politics and economics in Aristotle . School studies, the economic classic, whose main representatives like Adam Smith come from moral philosophy, the dispute over methods in Germany and Max Weber are to be cited as milestones in the prehistory of today's discussion. In addition, the ordoliberalism native to the German-speaking area should be mentioned. From the point of view of the predominant direction in economics (neoclassical, mainstream), however, these are marginal phenomena that argue outside the economic framework of economic self-understanding. One of the few economists who are both outstanding economists and business ethicists is Frank Knight , who went down in theoretical history as the founder of the Chicago School and at the same time has already formulated sharp criticism of the market and competition. The Nobel Prize winners Friedrich August von Hayek and James M. Buchanan should not be forgotten either.
Interest in business ethics has been revived since the mid-1980s. Keywords such as shareholder value , increasing environmental degradation or growing mass unemployment raise the question of the normative foundations of economic activity. Business ethics comes along as a reflection of a crisis. Essential impulses for the rediscovery of business ethics came from the Verein für Socialpolitik , church academies and various universities. Working groups, discussion forums, book series, academic associations, seminars and lectures have made business ethics a separate area of research and teaching since around 1990.
Karl Homann: Ethics with an economic method
Karl Homann and his students, including Andreas Suchanek , Ingo Pies and Christoph Lütge , base their concept of business ethics on the analysis of dilemma situations such as the prisoner's dilemma , as these represent the central characteristic of modern society. For the analysis they use the economic method, but in contrast to the traditional understanding, the focus here is not on scarcity, but rather on interactions. Homann et al. Therefore do not assume that a technical solution is possible. In their view, in a modern world based on the division of labor, institutionalized competition, i.e. H. the competition under the rules of the game, the starting point for realizing desired goals.
In a modern world, the rules of the game, i.e. the framework conditions, are the systematic place of morality. In contrast, the attempt to want to implement morality through appeals can systematically fail if the addressees of these appeals can only comply with them by offending their own interests. Firstly, the empirical conditions for the implementability of morality are not taken into account here, which leads to inappropriate demands, i.e. to normativistic fallacies. Second, human dignity dictates that human beings be protected from being expected to systematically violate their own interests.
Therefore, the incentive effects of the framework conditions must be designed in such a way that individual actions by actors lead to a socially desirable state. The task of business ethics in the above sense is therefore to design institutions in such a way that they develop incentive effects that enable people to interact voluntarily and for mutual benefit and thus to overcome the dilemma situation. Homann himself provide a succinct summary: "The systematic place of morality in a market economy is the framework." Or "The efficiency in the moves, the morality in the rules of the game."
Peter Ulrich: integrative business ethics
The " integrative business ethics " Peter Ulrich opened a discourse ethics sound counter-concept to the mainstream. Integrative business ethics updates classic positions in the history of economic theory, to which it also explicitly refers. "The main task of integrative business ethics is: the criticism of economism, ensuring that politics take precedence over economics and expanding economic rationality into the concept of serviceability".
Peter Ulrich , who is considered one of the most prominent critics of Homann, comments: “As in large parts of economic theory of politics, Homann [...] categorically shortens democratic legitimation to Pareto efficiency ; ethical legitimacy is reduced to strategic acceptance; the democratic social contract is interpreted as a generalized exchange of advantages and thus as an exchange deal (exchange deal). Within this methodological normative individualism, therefore, Pareto efficiency coincides with the legitimacy requirement of consensus ”.
“Such an economic conception of democratic regulatory policy has nothing to do with a political-philosophical well-founded understanding of (republican-deliberative) democracy. Rather, behind Homann's constitutional economics, an economic reduction of democratic politics to purely economic logic emerges ”.
The framework of the market is - contrary to Homann's orderly ethical principle, which sees efficiency in the moves, morality in the rules of the game - not a systematic place of morality. “Strictly speaking, the framework is much more a place of moral implementation. The conceptual place of the moral justification is the unlimited public of all responsible citizens ”. Ulrich indicates here a category error within Homann's theory.
Another decisive objection to Homann concerns the economic circle of reasons behind the framework. “The framework of the market, which is supposed to legitimize it, is itself justified in turn from the purely economic point of view of market efficiency.” Ulrich characterizes this as regulatory economism in his remarks .
The methodological individualism that emerges within Homann's conception can also be characterized as methodological cynicism. “The subjects give up their free will, as it were, in the cloakroom before they step onto the stage of the free market as homines oeconomici who cannot help but think and act in a gainful way”.
“The cynicism begins with the thought experiment as to whether an institutional arrangement still 'works' (HO test) even in the 'worst case', when all individuals would behave as strictly self-interested homines oeconomici, and exaggerates it in the normative phrase of this worst case to the principle of the good organization of society. "
"Behind the methodological worst-case interest as a pre-scientific, knowledge-guiding interest, a radical normative individualism emerges: It is about the practical goal of relieving individuals as completely as possible of moral claims so that they can fulfill their assumed need for strict self-interest maximization (vulgar psychological Hedonism). The model-internal worst case turns out to be the model-external, intended for the design of society, the best case ”.
"The methodical economism thus proves to be above all a method of breaking off the reflection on the legitimacy of the purposes and interests that guide action". "The functional conditions of the actually existing economic system, raised by economic determinism to the sole criterion of rationality, function in factual constraints as the intellectual closing mechanism of the economic ethical discourse".
“Whether the constraints of the market economy system prevail as a social order (market society) or whether there is a dominant and controlling social order (primacy of politics over the logic of the market) is to be understood as a practical question of political will. Absolute practical constraints of the market, detached from life-world guidelines, did not exist ”.
“All effective practical constraints are ultimately to be understood as a moment in an economic and social order that is politically wanted and implemented by someone. This means that all practical constraints that are not determined by natural law are institutionalized normative constraints that can fundamentally be questioned ”.
“Taking the constraint problem seriously from an economic ethical point of view would mean not contenting oneself with a reflection stop in front of the empirical conditions of the self-assertion of each competitor, but rather with the naturally developing stubbornness of the economic system dynamics, insisting on the underlying normative ground and making it more ethically critical To make argumentation accessible ”.
“The attempt to strictly localize morality in the framework and the complete relief of economic subjects from moral demands not only in the market but also in their political strategies collapses and with it the ethical principle of order, [...] efficiency in the moves , morality in the rules of the game ”.
Comparison of the controversial statements
Ulrich's criticism of Homann represents a shortening of his theory. Homann is by no means of the opinion that morality lies only in the framework. Even in Homann's concept, companies have room for moral action. This results from the fundamentally imperfect framework. Only in the imagined ideal case can the framework completely relieve individuals of moral demands. The imperfection of the framework does not, however, relate solely to “not yet regulated”. Valid and recognized laws can also be too costly to enforce, for example.
Ulrich also demands (in the awareness of imperfection) the framework for moral relief (not liberation!) Of individuals. So what is the fundamental difference between Homann's and Ulrich's conception?
In Homann's work, there is a break in reflection at a crucial point. It is true that companies (or entrepreneurs!) Should subject the framework to a critical reflection in order to recognize deficits and to compensate for them through individual moral efforts. However, for Homann, the duty of reflection ends immediately before the neoliberal paradigm of profit maximization of companies and the premise, which can no longer be questioned, that the market is the best place for coordinating action in society: Long-term profit maximization becomes the “moral duty of companies”. Apart from the triviality that the quantity of profits cannot be separated from the ethical quality of their realization, Homann does not address the question in which areas the principle of market coordination is actually the best solution. Homann's approach to business ethics, based on - according to this view - neoliberal premises, falls short of the mark.
According to another reading, Ulrich's observation that Homann systematically reduced legitimation to Pareto improvements (not: efficiency) is entirely correct. Because Homann assumes that values or universals such as “legitimacy”, “justice”, (volitional) “freedom” or “the good” do not actually exist and can be recognized, but that people simply regard these words as instruments or as a heuristic for solving real-world problems. Since all real-world problems ultimately represent cost problems from the point of view of those affected , “values” that cannot be traced back to people's cost-benefit calculations should regularly prove to be inexpedient for solving such problems. As a result, for Homann, values have a " fundamentally hypothetical character " (that is, they can be tested and falsified ), with which "the dogmatic conception of the sacrosanct world of values [...] is finally destroyed". It is the task of a new "value science" to redefine dysfunctional values functionally in order to make them more valuable from the point of view of all people to whom such a value science would recommend it. Ulrich argues on the other hand that this is thought to be conclusive, but not “ethics” because it is “free of morals”.
The different uses of the concept of normativity in the two schools seem to cause much confusion. To make a distinction: Ulrich would like to judge actions or conditions on the basis of a “moral point of view” based on the ethical discourse , while Homann, in the tradition of critical rationalism, considers ultimate justifications to be impossible or improbable. It is therefore a methodological misunderstanding when Homann's so-called “neoliberal premises” are interpreted as a “break in reflection”. Because these “premises” are merely technical model assumptions that could also be made differently if one believes that they can lead to empirically and practically relevant results. In the Homann School, an attempt is made to produce a purely hypothetical normativity in the form of new terms and nominal definitions which “should” have an effect on the Pareto superior practice. This does not mean that this is deontologically “ought” in the Ulrich sense, because a “moral duty” based on something (with Ulrich and KO Apel: from the human ability to speak) does not exist from Homann's perspective of contract theory ( or cannot be recognized even if it existed). Consequently called Homann's approach - According to this reading - economic "ethics" rather than because it at him around the grounds of moral obligations (in terms of deontological would applied ethics), but because it is him doing the semantic social science orientation theory on the Discovery of mutual improvement potential (in the sense of an ethics based on contract theory ) is possible.
Michael Aßländer and Hans G. Nutzinger point out the problem of two further considerations by Homann: His emphasis on adequate regulatory and incentive structures for the (empirical) validity of moral norms is an important regulatory policy indication, which, however, is theoretically and practically exaggerated if they Correctness of a morality is only linked to the possibility of its implementation and the probability of its enforcement, because then the reverse would apply that "every morality, as long as it is enforceable, [would] be legitimized per se, including that of a mafia." In addition, they emphasize that the expansion of the concept of advantage made by Homann may lead to gains in knowledge in apparently "non-economic" problem contexts that have not been analyzed previously, but that it also eliminates the risk of inadmissible generalization, the loss of conceptual sharpness and thus, which Homann did not address the dew ologization conjured up.
- Business ethics
- Buddhist economics
- Christian social teaching
- Corporate Citizenship
- Corporate social responsibility
- Honorable businessman
- Ethics and business in dialogue
- Global Compact (UN Pact)
- ISO 26000 (ethical standard )
- Social ethics
- Business ethics
- Code of Conduct ( Code of Conduct )
- Economic philosophy
- Georges Enderle, Karl Homann , Martin Honecker , Walter Kerber , Horst Steinmann (eds.): Lexicon of business ethics. Herder, Freiburg / Basel / Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-451-22336-8 .
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- Thomas Beschorner et al. (Ed.): Business and business ethics. Review - Outlook - Perspectives (= series of publications on economic and corporate ethics. Volume 10). Hampp, Munich / Mering 2005, ISBN 3-87988-931-7 .
- Hardy Bouillon : Economy, Ethics and Justice (= studies on economic and social order. Volume IX). Flörsheim am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-942239-07-3 (book edition).
- Markus Breuer, Alexander Brink , Olaf J. Schumann (eds.): Business ethics as critical social science (= St. Gallen contributions to business ethics. Volume 32). Haupt, Bern u. a. 2003, ISBN 3-258-06573-X .
- Wolfgang Deppert (Ed.): People and Economy. Interdisciplinary contributions to economic and corporate ethics. Economy with a human face (= economy with a human face. Volume 1). Leipziger Universitätsverlag, Leipzig 2001, ISBN 3-934565-69-7 .
- Wolfgang Deppert: Individualistic Business Ethics (IWE). Application of Individualistic Ethics to the Field of Economics. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-658-03585-3 . doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-658-03586-0 (textbook, Springer Fachmedien)
- Norbert Hoerster : Ethics and Interest (= Reclams Universal Library . No. 18278). Reclam, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-15-018278-6 .
- Karl Homann , Christoph Lütge : Introduction to business ethics (= introductions to philosophy. Volume 3). LIT, Münster 2004, ISBN 3-8258-7758-2 .
- Wilhelm Korff u. a. (Ed.): Handbuch der Wirtschaftsethik. 4 volumes. Gütersloh publishing house, Gütersloh 1999.
- Peter Koslowski : Principles of Ethical Economy. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1988, ISBN 3-16-245319-4 .
- Hans Küng : Doing business properly - Why business needs morality. Piper Verlag, Munich / Zurich 2012, ISBN 978-3-492-27323-7 .
- Hans Lenk , Matthias Maring (Ed.): Economy and Ethics (= Reclams Universal Library. No. 8798). Reclam, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-15-008798-8 .
- Bernd Noll: Economic and business ethics in the market economy. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart a. a. 2002, ISBN 3-17-016598-4 .
- Birger P. Priddat : Morality as an indicator and context of economics. Metropolis, Marburg 2007.
- Birger P. Priddat: Why business ethics. Metropolis, Marburg 2010.
- Andreas Suchanek : Economic Ethics (= university paperbacks ). 2nd Edition. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-8252-2195-9 .
- Peter Ulrich : Integrative Business Ethics. Basics of a life-serving economy. 4th edition. Haupt, Bern / Stuttgart / Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-258-07261-6 .
- Peter Ulrich: Civilized Market Economy . A business ethical orientation. Updated and expanded new edition. Haupt, Bern / Stuttgart / Vienna 2010
- Josef Wieland : The ethics of governance (= studies on governance ethics . Volume 1). 5th edition. Metropolis-Verlag, Marburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-89518-606-6 .
- Global and regional approaches
- Claus-Heinrich Daub : Global Economy - Global Responsibility. The integration of multinational companies in the process of sustainable development (= Edition gesowip ). Basel 2005, ISBN 3-906129-23-3 . (also: Basel, Univ., Habil.-Schr., 2005)
- Karl Homann , Peter Koslowski , Christoph Lütge (Hrsg.): Business ethics of globalization. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2005, ISBN 3-16-148503-3 .
- Philosophical, Religious and Theological Approaches
- Dirk Baecker (Ed.): Capitalism as Religion (= Copyrights. Volume 9). With contributions by Walter Benjamin , Norbert Bolz , Christoph Deutschmann . Kulturverlag Kadmos, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-931659-27-5 .
- Karl-Heinz Brodbeck : The questionable foundations of the economy. A Philosophical Critique of Modern Economics. 3. Edition. WBG, Darmstadt 2007, ISBN 978-3-534-20073-3 .
- André Comte-Sponville : Can Capitalism Be Moral? Diogenes, Zurich 2009.
- Alexander Dietz : The homo oeconomicus. Theological and business ethical perspectives on an economic model (= guiding, directing, shaping. Volume 18). Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2005, ISBN 3-579-05310-8 .
- Bernward Gesang : Business Ethics and Human Rights. UTB, Tübingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8252-4562-7 .
- Felix Heidenreich: Business ethics as an introduction. Junius Verlag, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-88506-689-7 .
- Harald Jung: Social market economy and secular order. Foundation of political business ethics in Luther's social-ethical approach (= ethics in theological discourse . Volume 21). Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-643-10549-3 . (see also: Neuchâtel, Univ., Diss., 2005)
- Karl Lehmann : The shadow of the "Homo oeconomicus". On the necessity of an integrative and life-serving ethics of business. Lecture at the Michael Reception of the Catholic Office on September 17th, 2008 in the Catholic Academy in Berlin.
- Christoph Lütge (Ed.): Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics. Springer, Heidelberg / New York 2013, ISBN 978-94-007-1495-3 .
- Arthur Rich : Business Ethics. 2 volumes. Gütersloh publishing house, Gütersloh.
- History of Business Ethics
- Manfred Hermanns : Social ethics through the ages. History of the chair for Christian social teaching in Münster 1893–1997 (= treatises on social ethics. Volume 49). Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2006, ISBN 3-506-72989-6 .
- Link catalog on business ethics at curlie.org (formerly DMOZ )
- Forum for Business Ethics and Business Culture of the German Society for Philosophy ( Memento from January 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- Alexei Marcoux: Business Ethics. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Business ethics Switzerland
- Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics
- German Server Business Ethics - extensive thematic link list
- German Business Ethics Network
- Oswald von Nell Breuning Institute for Business and Social Ethics
- Roman Herzog Institute : Ethics in the Social Market Economy
Notes and individual references
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- Georg Mohr: Do modern societies need orientation and can philosophy provide it? In: Hans-Jörg Sandkühler: Philosophy for what? Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 2008, pp. 229-253, here 251; also: Michael S. Aßländer: Philosophia Ancilla Oeconomiae? Business ethics between auxiliary science and orientation science. In: Thomas Beschorner et al. (Hrsg.): Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik. Hampp, München / Mering 2005, 325–338, here 337–338
- Ignaz Seipel: The business ethical teachings of the church fathers. Vienna 1907, p. 304.
- Max Weber: The business ethics of the world religions. Study edition Volume 19: Confucianism and Taoism. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1991, p. 2.
- Ludwig Erhard, Alfred Müller-Armack: Social market economy. Order of the future. Ullstein, Frankfurt / Berlin / Vienna 1972, p. 54.
- Max Weber: The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism. [1904/05, 1920]. Beck, Munich 1979, p. 45.
- See on this section Jean-Louis Arni: Rationality. In: Lexicon of Business Ethics. Col. 868-876.
- Carl Amery: Global Exit. The church and the total market. Luchterhand, Munich 2002, 15
- Friedrich Nietzsche: From the benefits and disadvantages of history for life. , Critical Study Edition. Volume 1, ed. by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, 2nd edition. dtv, Munich 1988, pp. 243–343, here 319
- Gustav von Schmoller: The economy, the economics and their method. First published in 1893 in: Concise Dictionary of Political Science. 1st edition. Jena 1890-1897; in an expanded version 3rd edition Jena 1909–1911. (Edition Frankfurt am Main 1949)
- Max Weber: The "objectivity" of social science and sociopolitical knowledge , in: Collected essays on the science of science, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1988, here: p. 149.
- Annemarie Pieper: Ethics and Economics. Historical and systematic aspects of their relationship. In: Bernd Bievert, Klaus Held, Josef Wieland: Socio- philosophical foundations of economic action. 2nd Edition. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1992, pp. 86-101.
- Annemarie Pieper: Ethics and Economics. P. 86
- John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism. Reclam, Stuttgart 1976, p. 13.
- Presentation of the various approaches according to the Handbuch der Wirtschaftsethik, Volume 1, 855–883 as well as based on the individual information
- Karl Homann, Andreas Suchanek : Economics. An introduction. 2nd Edition. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004.
- Bruno Molitor: Business Ethics. Vahlen, Munich 1989.
- Thomas Bausch, Annette Kleinfeld, Horst Steinmann (Eds.): Business ethics in business practice. Hampp, Mering 2000.
- Peter Koslowski: Principles of the Ethical Economy. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1988.
- Josef Wieland: The ethics of governance. 5th edition. Metropolis, Marburg 2007.
- Amartya Sen: Economy for the people. Beck, Munich 2000; Similar: Nils Ole Oermann: Earning decent money ?: Protestant business ethics under the conditions of global markets. Güterslohner Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2007.
- Oswald Nell-Breuning: Justice and Freedom. Basic features of the Catholic social teaching. Olzog, Munich 1985.
- Second Vatican Council " Gaudium et Spes " 63 ( German text )
- Joseph Höffner: Christian social doctrine. New edition, edited, edited and supplemented by Lothar Roos . Kevelaer 1997.
- Peter Ulrich: Integrative Business Ethics. Basics of a life-serving economy. 4th edition. Haupt, Bern 2007.
- Eilert Herms: The economy of people: Contributions to business ethics. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2008.
- Joseph Ratzinger: Market economy and ethics. In: Lothar Roos (Ed.): Voices of the Church on the Economy. Cologne 1986, pp. 50–58, here 58
- Niklas Luhmann: Business Ethics - as Ethics? In: Josef Wieland (ed.): Business ethics and theory of society. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1993, pp. 134-147, here p. 134.
- Frank Nullmeier: Welfare State. In: Uwe Andersen, Wichard Woyke (Hrsg.): Concise dictionary of the political system of the Federal Republic. 7th, updated Edition. Springer VS, 2013.
- Norbert Hinske : Kant's Warning of the Welfare State , The New Order, Volume 58 No. 6, December 2004.
- Wilhelm Röpke: Beyond supply and demand , Haupt, 5th edition. Bern 1979, p. 232.
- Ludwig Erhard: Prosperity for all . Econ, Düsseldorf / Vienna 1957, pp. 248–249.
- Alfred Müller-Armack: Economic order and economic policy. Studies and concepts for the social market economy and European integration. , Haupt, Bern / Stuttgart 1976, p. 81.
- Walter Eucken: The foundations of national economy. Jena 1939, p. 128f.
- Wilhelm Röpke: The doctrine of the economy. Erlenbach / Zurich 1951, p. 272f.
- Wilhelm Röpke: Beyond supply and demand. . 5th edition. Haupt, Bern 1979, p. 208.
- Andreas Wimmel: Are socio-political interventions valuable from a liberal perspective? - Theses on the tension between personal freedom and social security in modern welfare states. In: Journal of Politics. 1/2003, p. 69.
- Hans D. Barbier: Social market economy. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. June 24, 2005, p. 13.
- Oskar Lafontaine: Politics for all. Polemic for a Just Society. Berlin 2005, p. 260.
- Thomas Aquinas: Summa theologica. Book II, Part II, Question 66, Article 2. On Natural Law
- John Locke: About the Government. 9, 124, Reclam, Stuttgart 1974, p. 96.
- Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels: Manifesto of the Communist Party. MEW Volume 4, p. 468.
- Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels: Manifesto of the Communist Party. MEW Volume 4, p. 475.
- Walter Eucken: Principles of economic policy. Bern / Tübingen 1952, p. 300.
- Stefan Liebig, Jürgen Schupp: More and more people in gainful employment perceive their income as unjust. In: DIW weekly report. 31/2008.
- Norbert Thom , quoted from: Michael S. Aßländer: What is a fair wage? Philosophical-historical remarks on a timeless question. (PDF file; 1 MB), In: FORUM Business Ethics. Volume 16, No. 4/2008, pp. 7-17, here 8
- Stephan Panther: Justice in Economics. Empirical results and their possible consequences. In: Hans G. Nutzinger (Ed.): Justice in the economy - squaring the circle? Metropolis, Marburg 2005, pp. 21–50, here 46–48
- Holger Lengfeld: Pay equity in the changing work society. In: From Politics and Contemporary History . APuZ 04–05 / 2007.
- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations. Munich 1990, pp. 86-92.
- Lüder Gerken : Walter Eucken and his work: Review of the pioneer of the social market economy. Mohr Siebeck, 2000, ISBN 3-16-147503-8 , p. 22.
- Walter Eucken: The competition order and its realization. In: Walter Eucken, Franz Böhm (Hrsg.): Ordo - year book for the order of economy and society. Würzburg 1949, p. 76.
- Stanislaw Lem: Unrestrained Progress. In: The time. No. 1/99, December 30, 1998, p. 30.
- a detailed description of this development can be found in: Julia Schultz: Environment and Justice in Germany. Metropolis, Marburg 2009.
- Heinrich Pesch: Ethics and Economics. Freiburg im Breisgau 1918, p. 146.
- Aristotle: Politics , Ditzingen 1998, 1258b.
- Paul Windolf: Owners without risk , Zeitschrift für Soziologie, Vol. 37, Issue 6 Bielefeld 2008, p. 519.
- cf. Manfred Hermanns: Social ethics through the ages. Personalities - Research - Effects of the Chair for Christian Social Studies and the Institute for Christian Social Sciences at the University of Münster. Schöningh, Paderborn 2006.
- University of Witten / Herdecke - Business Ethics
- Claus Noppeney: Between Chicago School and Neoliberalism. Bern / Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-258-05836-9 and supported by: Peter Ulrich: Integrative economic ethics: Foundations of a civilized market economy. Cambridge 2008, p. 280.
- K. Homann, F. Blome-Drees: Business ethics. 1992, p. 35.
- Claus Noppeney: Why history - and how? Preliminary considerations on the search for traces of business ethics in classics of political economy. In: P. Ulrich, M. Assländer (ed.): John Stuart Mill. The forgotten political economist and philosopher. Haupt, Bern / Stuttgart / Vienna pp. 15–30; Arnold Meyer-Faje, Peter Ulrich Peter (ed.): The other Adam Smith: Contributions to the redefinition of economy as political economy. St. Gallen contributions to business ethics. : Haupt, Bern 1991, ISBN 3-258-04285-3 . A. Meyer-Faje, P. Ulrich (Hrsg.): The other Adam Smith - Contributions to the redefinition of economy as political economy. 1991; Peter Ulrich, Michael S. Assländer (eds.): John Stuart Mill: The forgotten political economist and philosopher. Haupt, Bern 2006; Claus Noppeney: Between Chicago School and Neoliberalism. Bern / Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-258-05836-9 .
- Homann / Blome-Drees 1992, p. 159.
- Homann / Blome-Drees 1992, p. 51.
- Ulrich 1998, p. 408.
- Homann here follows Immanuel Kant , whose formula for human purposes is: "Act in such a way that you need humanity both in your person and in the person of everyone else at the same time as an end, never just as a means" (emphasis added). According to this formula (because of the words “at any time” and “at the same time”), actions that would not be Pareto improvements cannot be moral. Source: Foundation for the Metaphysics of Morals. (1785), BA 67. Likewise Kant: "Politics says: 'Be wise as the snakes', the morality adds (as a restrictive condition) : and without wrong as the doves " (emphasis added). Source: Immanuel Kant (1781): For Eternal Peace. Reclam, Stuttgart 1984, p. 36.
- Cf. for the entire paragraph Karl Homann: The interdependence of goals and means. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1980, pp. 251-258.
- Cf. Homann, Karl: Demokratie und Rationalität. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1988, pp. 257-261. Homann calls this subchapter of his habilitation thesis “The Heuristic Character of the Theory of Justice”.
- Something like this, like a monkey up a stick tinkering, to thus termite fishing (for Homann would be termites and the appetite of the Monkey of the "reason" for the idea of caudicle, not vice versa). This analogy is of course not found in Homann. Similar to Popper, Karl : The misery of historicism. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1974, pp. 24-31.
- Similar to Immanuel Kant : “To set up children's actions as noble, generous, meritorious as a model, in the opinion that they are to be taken for them by instilling an en [t] husiasmus is completely inappropriate.” Source: Basis for the Metaphysics of Morals. (1785), A 280. Likewise Buchanan, James / Tullock, Gordon : The Calculus of Consent. Liberty Fund, Indianapolis 1958. Similarly, Rawls, John (1971): A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1958.
- Cf. for the entire paragraph Karl Homann: The interdependence of goals and means. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1980, p. 254 (emphasis in the original).
- Cf. for the entire paragraph Karl Homann: The interdependence of goals and means. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1980, p. 254.
- Cf. for the entire paragraph Karl Homann: The interdependence of goals and means. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1980, p. 258.
- Similar to Schelling, Thomas C. (1984): Economic Reasoning and the Ethics of Policy. in: Thomas Schelling (Ed.): Choice and Consequence. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 1-26. See in particular p. 3.
- Ulrich, Peter : Integrative Economic Ethics. Foundations of a Civilized Market Economy. Cambridge University Press, New York 2008, pp. 99 and 107, especially Fig.3.2.
- Peter Ulrich: Integrative Economic Ethics. Foundations of a Civilized Market Economy. Cambridge University Press, New York 2008, pp. 43-62.
- Peter Ulrich: Integrative Economic Ethics. Foundations of a Civilized Market Economy. Cambridge University Press, New York 2008, pp. 115ff.
- See the chapter “The methodological status of the theory of justice” in Homann (1988): Democracy and Rationality. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1988. Homann describes the claim to want to judge actions or conditions on the basis of a “moral point of view”, literally “dogmatism” (p. 209).
- Similar to Popper: “Questions like 'What is life?' or 'What's the severity?' [or 'What is justice?', dV] play no role in modern science. ”Karl Popper: The open society and its enemies. Volume 2., sixth edition. Franke Verlag, Munich 1980, p. 30.
- This., The systematic place of morality is ethics! Some critical remarks on Karl Homann's economic ethics. In: zfwu. 11 (2010), pp. 226–248, here: p. 235)
- Dies., Ethics, Economics and Economic Reduktrionism. In: Wolfgang Buchholz (Hrsg.): Wirtschaftstethische Perspektiven IX. Business ethics in a globalized world. (= Publications of the Verein für Socialpolitik. NF 228 / IX). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2012, pp. 193-208, here: pp. 199f.
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