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Integrity and cynicism: possibilities and constraints of moral communication. (Special Issue: Ethical tools.)

By E. de Bakker

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Abstract

Paying thorough attention to cynical action and integrity could result in a less naive approach to ethics and moral communication. This article discusses the issues of integrity and cynicism on a theoretical and on a more practical level. The first part confronts Habermas' approach of communicative action [see Habermas, J. Moral consciousness and communicative action. (1991)] with Sloterdijk's concept of cynical reason [see Sloterdijk, P. Critic of cynical action. (1983), 2]. The second part focuses on the constraints and possibilities of moral communication within a business context (food industry). Discussing the corporate integrity approach of Kaptein and Wempe [see Kaptein, M., Wempe, J. The balanced company. A theory of corporate integrity. (2002)] provide this focus. Their approach can be considered as a valuable contribution to the question of how to deal with (dilemmas of) conflicting interests, open discussion, fairness, and strategic decision-making in the context of stakeholder dialogue. It is concluded that Kaptein and Wempe seem to overstretch the concept of corporate integrity by their inclination to make it an all-purpose remedy for corporate dilemmas.

Date 2007
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 119-136
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1007/s10806-006-9020-y
Language English
Author Address Wageningingen UR, LEI (Agricultural Economics Research Institute), Public Issues Division, P.O. Box 29703, 2502 LS, The Hague, Netherlands. erik.debakker@wur.nl
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Tags
  1. Accountability
  2. Agriculture
  3. Communication
  4. Constraints
  5. Employees
  6. Ethics
  7. Food industry
  8. Management
  9. morality
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. Social psychology and social anthropology
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  1. peer-reviewed