Virtue in Business: Morally Better, Praiseworthy, Trustworthy, and More Satisfying.

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In four experiments, we offer evidence that virtues are often judged as uniquely important for some business practices (e.g., hospital management and medical error investigation). Overall, actions done only from virtue (either by organizations or individuals) were judged to feel better, to be more praiseworthy, to be more morally right, and to be associated with more trustworthy leadership and greater personal life satisfaction compared to actions done only to produce the best consequences or to follow the correct moral rule. These results accord with claims made by some virtue ethicists. The current data contribute to a small but growing body of literature emphasizing both empirical soundness and philosophical rigor in the scientific study of virtue. Results also offer some guidance concerning how businesses, employees, and executives are evaluated and perceived. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
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Archival date: 2015-12-29
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