Eddington, Ian and Searle, John and Temple-Smith, Richard (2004) Business ethics: boardroom pressures in an age of moral relativism. In: 2004 Inaugural Academy of World Business, Marketing and Management Development Conference: The Challenge of Inter-Disciplinary Perspectives & Globalization in the 21st Century , 13-16 July 2004, Gold Coast, Australia.
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Company law requires boardroom decision making to be parochial but boardrooms are pluralist by nature. It is argued that the way business is done, business contexts and strategic decision making do change over time. Factors bearing upon boardroom behaviour include inter alia preferences for the firm to act or to be seen to be acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner: that is, to act ethically. It is argued that conditions are favourable for the emergence of a more widespread pursuit of social and responsible business within a safe and civil society. Forces driving this emergence are discussed and barriers to its progress are outlined. Challenges for the theory of the firm are raised also.
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