Adam Baily, ‘Reconciling Traditional Morality and the Morality of Competition’

It is commonly believed that the moral norms of “everyday” or “traditional” morality apply uniformly in all business contexts. However, Joseph Heath has recently argued that this is not the case. According to Heath, the norms of everyday morality apply with respect to “administered” transactions but not “market” transactions. Market transactions are, he argues, governed by a distinct, “adversarial” morality. In this article, I argue that Heath’s attempt to show that competitive contexts are governed by a distinct, adversarial morality does not succeed. I then undertake the task of showing that, contrary to what is commonly thought, competitive actions can be reconciled with the norms of traditional morality.

Baily, Adam, Reconciling Traditional Morality and the Morality of Competition (Summer 2014). Business and Society Review, Vol 119, Issue 2, pp 207-219, 2014.

First posted 2014-06-04 06:22:58

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