The Moral Economic Man
Abstract:Economic behavior is multifaceted and context-dependent. However, the so-called Homo Oeconomicus model states that agents are perfectly rational, self-interest-maximizing beings. This model can be criticized on both empirical and normative grounds. Understanding economic behavior requires a more complex and dynamic framework.
In the ‘I & We’ paradigm developed by Amitai Etzioni, economic behavior is co-determined by utility calculations and moral considerations. Two major factors can explain the ethicality of economic behavior; namely, the moral character of the agents and the relative cost of ethical behavior.
Economic agents are moral beings, but the ethical fabric of the economy determines which face of the Moral Economic Man predominates.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2007
More about this publication?
- Ethics in the Economy
The first part contains challenging papers on the myth of rationality, corporate social responsibility, critical pragmatism, moral disengagement mechanisms, and ethical decision-making. The papers listed under 'Innovative Practices and Policy Reforms' address issues of authenticity in business, sustainable investments, ethical consumerism, and happiness in economics. The Opinions section focuses on the ecological sustainability of business. The Debate section concentrates on the ethics management paradox, which states that opportunistic ethical initiatives fail. Only genuine ethics works in business.
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