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Evaluating Ethical Approaches to Crisis Leadership: Insights from Unintentional Harm Research

David C. Bauman
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 98, No. 2 (January 2011), pp. 281-295
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41475816
Page Count: 15
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Evaluating Ethical Approaches to Crisis Leadership: Insights from Unintentional Harm Research
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Abstract

Leading a corporation through a crisis requires rational decision making guided by an ethical approach (Snyder et al., Journal of Business Ethics, 63, 2006, 371). Three such approaches are virtue ethics (Seeger and Ulmer, Journal of Business Ethics, 31, 2001, 369), an ethic of justice, and an ethic of care (Simóla, Journal of Business Ethics, 46, 2003, 351). In this article, I consider the effectiveness of these approaches for leading a corporation after a crisis. The standard I use is drawn from recent studies that examine how people tend to react to corporate unintentional harms. I conclude from these studies that an ethic of care approach is most effective for managing corporate crises when it comes to stakeholder concerns. I conclude the article with strategies for managing a crisis using an ethic of care.

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