Character and Virtue in an Era of Turbulent Capitalism

Iain Mangham

in The Oxford Handbook of Organization Theory

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199275250
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

 Character and Virtue in an Era of Turbulent Capitalism

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In recent years, there has been an upsurge in anti-capitalist protest in the form of articles, books, and direct action. Three aspects of capitalism appear to give rise to particular concern: its influence on the environment, on inequality, and on cultural hegemony. Modern societies appear to be marked by intractable disagreements over what it is to lead a good life in the company of others. Some commentators hold that the market is destructive of community-based notions of the good life. It cultivates the vice of personal acquisitiveness and in doing so breaks the bands of affection that hold communities together. Others think such views are mistaken. This article examines aspects of this argument. It deals with two concepts: character and virtue. It considers the ways that these terms have been deployed in discussions of the impact of capitalism on the ethical climate both within and beyond organizations.

Keywords: anti-capitalist protest; capitalism; inequality; cultural hegemony; character; virtue

Article.  9277 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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