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The study of business ethics: A case for Dr Seuss

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Abstract:

This paper provides an example of how narrative literature can be used to teach management ethics within management education. The place of narrative literature in the study of organisations generally is considered, and it is suggested that such material can provide non‐traditional cases for teaching purposes. Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax is chosen as an example of a story with which students can empathise. The ‘case’ is analysed using an ethical decision‐making framework. As part of this analysis a number of theoretically based ethical issues are discussed so as to illustrate the range and depth of ethical issues that can be raised by such a simple narrative. It is concluded that although The Lorax is not a novel, it contains a richness of texture which makes it very useful for management education. Arguments for the legitimisation of the use of narrative fiction in conjunction with traditional cases for management education are presented in conclusion.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8608.00186

Affiliations: Monash University, Australia

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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