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Reflections on responsibility and justice Coaching human rights in South Africa

  • Sara Louise Muhr
Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1175-1186
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Management Decision
Volym: 46
Nummer: 8
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Purpose - The purpose of this article is to question whether business is ethical as long as it follows rules, and on this view, to reflect over the relation between responsibility and justice. Design/methodology/approach - To exemplify this relation, the paper is based on in-depth interviews with a human rights consultant. In this way, the paper presents a story from the field and thus follows a narrative method to retell the story of the consultant leading a human rights project in South Africa. Findings - The paper concludes that following rules is not enough to ensure ethical business in a global market place. As global business rests on dynamics and flexibility, it seems limited that most business ethics rests on bureaucratic notions. The value of also viewing ethical decision-making as personal responsibility is introduced through the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. Research limitations/implications - The study is based on in depth interviews with one person. Although this method ensures access to deeply personal and thorough knowledge about the event, it also has its limitation and risk of bias. Although this paper points towards some interesting relations between personal responsibility and international/organisational justice, more research is needed in the field of personal responsibility to make stronger conclusions. Practical implications - The paper proposes that people working at the global market place could benefit from being educated in personal ethics and not only bureaucratic notions of ethics. Originality/value - The paper provides valuable insight into the scarcely researched area of personalised business ethics.


  • Business Administration
  • South Africa
  • Bureaucratic organizations
  • Narratives
  • justice
  • Business ethics
  • Corporate social responsibility


  • ISSN: 0025-1747

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