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Book review : Ethics and organizational practice : questioning the moral foundations of management
journal contributionposted on 2011-06-01, 00:00 authored by Edward Wray-Bliss
The arena of ethics and business is a colossus: thousands of books, multiple dedicated journals, de rigueur organizational ethics policies and CSR initiatives - most of which we can be fairly confident would receive poor reviews by the editors and authors of Ethics and organizational practice: Questioning the moral foundations of management. This edited collection is a self-identified ‘critical’ take on business ethics, one that according to the editors’ introduction wishes to ‘expose business ethics to its crises’ and ‘critically investigate(s) what ethics means’. The ‘critical’ which Muhr, Sørensen and Vallentin invoke is one that would be familiar to authors and readers of Critical Management Studies – that is, to use Fournier and Grey’s (2000) oft-referenced depiction, the study of management and organization that is non-performative with regards to managerialist concerns of efficiency and profitability, that seeks to denaturalize taken-for-granted legitimations, and the normalization of current organizational practices and ideologies, and one which demonstrates significant reflexivity with regard to the philosophies and methodologies it deploys. To the above, we may also add pluralism, and indeed some playfulness, with a wide diversity of conceptual, theoretical, historical and popular sources mined for their potential to help us reconsider the organizational present.