Ethics of the good:
: an Aristotelian-Thomistic approach to corporate governance and ethical decision-making

  • Surendra Arjoon

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This integrating essay is based on an Aristotelian-Thomism in exploring ethical decisionmaking and corporate governance mechanisms to address issues of corporate deviant behaviour, and ultimately, human flourishing. Eight (8) peer-reviewed journal articles analyse the causes of moral failings of corporate governance and ethical decision-making mechanisms, and propose to address these ethical deficits: (1) Virtue Theory as a Dynamic Theory of Business proposes a meta-theory of business that links the concepts of virtues, the common good, and the dynamic economy, (2) A Communitarian Model of Business: A Natural Law Perspective offers a communitarian view of business in defining the business organisation as one that incorporates its social purpose that acknowledges the primacy of people over profits, (3) Corporate Governance: An Ethical Perspective makes the distinction between ethical and legal compliance approaches to corporate governance in arguing the necessity and importance of the former approach as a basis for an effective legal compliance culture, (4) Striking a Balance between Rules and Principles-Based Approaches for Effective Governance: A Risks-Based Approach highlights the drawbacks of an excessively heavy reliance on rules-based approaches to corporate governance, (5) Ethical Decision-Making: A Case for the Triple Font Theory offers a comprehensive, systematic, practical approach to ethical decisionmaking that attempts to integrate virtue ethics into act-oriented normative ethical theories, (6) Reconciling Situational Social Psychology with Virtue Ethics attempts to reconcile the virtue ethicssituational social psychology debate, (7) Slippery when Wet: The Real Risk in Business identifies factors that contribute to corporate deviant behaviour from both an individual and organisational perspectives, and (8) An Aristotelian-Thomistic Approach to Management Practice argues that an Aristotelian-Thomistic humanism better promotes human dignity as it corrects the dysfunctional aspects and ethical deficits than its utilitarian naturalistic humanism counterpart. The failure to integrate an Aristotelian-Thomistic understanding of the virtues and natural law ethical principles of subsidiarity, solidarity, human dignity, and the common good into business practice threatens the stability and survival of the firm since they are required to correct the dysfunctional aspects and ethical deficits of certain aspects of market behaviour.
Date of Award19 Oct 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorMichael Macaulay (Supervisor)

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