Business ethics: Too little, too late

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Describes the marginal accommodation of courses in business ethics within the business studies first degree curriculum. Focusing principally on the role of law and economics, argues that introductory subject study within business studies degrees plays a significant role in underpinning free-market principles and undermining ethical concerns. As a result students are encouraged to regard business activity as legitimately distinct from society. Concludes that courses in business ethics are under pressure to conform to a vocational rationale demonstrating the market benefits of ethical behaviour rather than encouraging students to examine fundamentally the assumptions and effects of business practice. Also suggests that, as a final-year option, discrete courses in business ethics do little to disturb the market orthodoxy of business studies students. Copyright © 1995 MCB University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-36
JournalEducation + Training
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995


Macfarlane, B. (1995). Business ethics: Too little, too late. Education + Training, 37(5), 32-36. doi: 10.1108/00400919510089130


  • Business education
  • Ethics
  • Law


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