Annotated Bibliography Sample

Arjoon, Surendra. Virtue Theory as a Dynamic Theory of Business. Journal of Business Ethics, 28 (2000): 159-178.

Arjoon’s central argument in this article is that businesses pursuing strategies based on ethics are more profitable than firms that pursue profit-driven strategies. The author further argues that the key business of business is to promote ethics, and the challenges that the society is currently facing are caused by lack of ethical leadership and business ethics. The concepts that the author uses to support his argument are: common good, corporate social responsibility, and virtue theory. Virtues promote ethical business by ensuring that people in business demonstrate good character traits such as responsibility, respect to duties, and transparency. Furthermore, an ethical business pursues the common good – focusing on achieving benefits for the largest number of people in society. Corporate social responsibility is also used in the article to show that a business that is concerned with the needs of society and the environment will receive more support and increased customer following. The greatest weakness of this article is that it lacks practical application of theory. The theory of virtues is well articulated, but there is little evidence from real life situations to support the impact of the theory. The strongest point of the article is the claim that ethical virtues drive business success. The author uses several sources and theoretical evidence to support this argument, making it strong.

Bowes, John C. St. Vincent de Paul and Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 17.15 (1998): 1663-1667.

In this article, the author argues that business ethics can be demonstrated through preferential treatment of the poor, good organization, economization, and strong education based on liberal arts. The author uses the concept of Vincentian theology which explains the good works of the Catholic priest, St. Vincent de Paul. The charitable and social works Vincent can be applied in business to boost organizational success. The second concept that supports the author’s argument is economization. The author argues that business leaders should minimize waste of time and resources to protect the interests of many stakeholders in society whose lives depend on the survival of the company. The weakest point of the article is the claim that organization is essential in business because business organization has little impact on ethics. The author’s strongest point is the need for quality education. Indeed, education on business ethics is necessary for student leaders to develop skills in managing ethical organizations for the future.

Vogt, Christopher P. Maximizing Human Potential: Capabilities Theory and the Professional Work Environment. Journal of Business Ethics, 58.1 (2005): 111-123.

The central argument of this article is that organizing business activities to allow workers to adopt human capabilities is essential for business success. This argument is supported by two concepts: human capabilities theory and Aristotelian ethics. The human capabilities theory is based on the idea that economic growth should enable people to enlarge their choices and abilities, and realize their full potential. The Aristotelian ethics is based on the idea that social work promotes human capabilities. Thus, businesses that engage in social work and support people to achieve their full potential are ethically right, and achieve higher growth. The weakest point of the author is that developing human capabilities should include helping employees to flourish outside the workplace. This argument ignores the economic constraints of business, and focuses on employees and ignores other stakeholders. The strongest point of the article is that developing human capabilities is essential in making human life fulfilling, because human capabilities and potential helps people to develop self-worth and confidence.

O’Connell, David M. From the Universities to the Marketplace: The Business Ethics Journey. Journal of Business Ethics, 17.15 (1998): 1617-1622.

O’Connell argues that business ethics education enables students to develop knowledge and appreciation of the values of social responsibility to promote political, economic and social development of human communities. One of the concept used to support this argument is the Catholic university education which is required to achieve cultural progress for the society and individuals. The second key concept used in the article is Vincentian ethics which demonstrates the importance of mobilizing society against injustice, corruption, lack of values, and poverty. The weakest point of the article is lack of practical implication in the business world because theory alone cannot be relied upon if it does not show evidence of positive contribution in real societies. The strongest point of the article is the idea that Catholic university education is essential in inculcating values to business students because the learners will apply the lessons learned in their workplace to promote ethical values in society.

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