The ethical difference of Organization

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Journal Article
Organization, 2013, 20 (1), pp. 39 - 50
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Noting that from its very inception Organization laid claim to having a central interest in the ethics and politics of organization, in this article we review contributions to the Journal over the past 20 years in order to consider the ethical thinking that has developed. We suggest that there is a common thread of ethical interest that characterizes much of this work-one that clearly differentiates it from more conventional approaches to business ethics. While business ethics has as its locus of interest the ethicality of organizations themselves, central issues that have emerged in Organization concern how individuals might (or might not) maintain a valued experience of themselves as ethical subjects despite the behaviour of organizations, and how organizational arrangements might be politically contested in the name of ethics. We explore this in relation to a question that unites much of the study of ethics in Organization: how do we live (and work) together in a world beset by difference? We consider this question in terms of the issue of ethical subjectivity and the relation between an ethics of consensus and an ethics of difference. The article concludes much as the Journal started-with the proposal that ethics remains a pressing challenge for critical scholarship and practice. © The Author(s) 2012.
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