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By John Hendry

We are living in a 'bimoral' society, during which humans govern their lives via contrasting units of rules. at the one hand there are the rules linked to conventional morality. even if those permit a modicum of self-interest, their emphasis is on our tasks and responsibilities to others: to regard humans in truth and with admire, to regard them rather and with out prejudice, to aid and are for them while wanted, and eventually, to place their wishes above their very own. however there are the foundations linked to the entrepreneurial self-interest. those additionally impose tasks, yet of a way more restricted type. Their emphasis is aggressive instead of cooperative: to enhance our personal pursuits instead of to satisfy the desires of others. either units of rules have continuously been found in society yet in recent times, conventional ethical gurus have misplaced a lot in their strength and the morality of self-interest has got a far higher social legitimacy, over a much broader box of habit, than ever earlier than. the results of this is often that during many events it really is now not in any respect obvious which set of rules should still take priority. during this booklet, John Hendry lines the cultural and historic origins of the 'bimoral' society have additionally ended in new, extra versatile kinds of organizing, that have published people's entrepreneurial energies and considerably better the inventive capacities of commercial. operating inside those companies, although is fraught with ethical tensions as tasks and self-interest clash and bosses are pulled in every kind of alternative instructions. handling them effectively poses significant new demanding situations of management, and 'moral' administration, because the technical problem-solving that in the past characterised managerial paintings is more and more entire through know-how and marketplace mechanisms. the most important function of administration turns into the political and ethical certainly one of deciding upon reasons and priorities, reconciling divergent pursuits, and nurturing belief in interpersonal relationships. Exploring those tensions and demanding situations, Hendry identifies new problems with modern administration and places well-known matters into context. He additionally explores the demanding situations posed for a post-traditional society because it seeks to control and govern an more and more robust and international enterprise area.

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Extra info for Between Enterprise and Ethics: Business and Management in a Bimoral Society

Sample text

No system will be perfect. There will always be charismatic entrepreneurs who can gull people into thinking they are moral when they are not. By and large, however, they do this by choosing as their associates people who are gullible and by avoiding engagement with those who are not. A governance system in which boards were in some sense representative of the public interest, and not just of particular stakeholder groups, might go some way towards addressing this problem. The same general reasoning also applies to the regulation of financial markets.

This failure to find a way of expressing the traditional morality of obligation that transcends the limitations of traditional hierarchical authorities complicates the manager's task, because it leaves her without any societal resources on which to draw in her own attempts to balance entrepreneurial self-interest with the common good. Its most obvious manifestations, however, are at the societal level. It is reflected, for example, in the current failure of attempts at corporate governance and the regulation of financial markets, especially at the international level; in the deep rift of misunderstanding between big business and governments on one hand and environmentalists and anti-globalization campaigners on the other; and in a chronic failure to understand and reconcile the moral foundations of different cultures and societies.

Class, Codes and Control, Volume 1: Theoretical Studies towards a Sociology of Language (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul), and were introduced in the first, 1970 edn. of Natural Symbols. The revised version of the theory presented here comes from the revised, 1973 edn. of the book. The theory was later simplified and reworked as a theory of ideal types, in which the grid and group variables were redefined in terms of social structure rather than their effect upon individuals and the grid-group space was replaced by a simple 2 × 2 matrix.

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