Quaker Business Ethics as MacIntyrean Tradition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External departments

  • University of York


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Early online date16 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jan 2021
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues that Quaker business ethics can be understood as a MacIntyrean tradition. To do so, it draws on three key MacIntyrean concepts: community, compartmentalisation, and the critique of management. The emphasis in Quaker business ethics on finding unity, as well as the emphasis that Quaker businesses have placed on serving their local areas, accords with MacIntyre’s claim that small-scale community is essential to human flourishing. The emphasis on integrity in Quaker business ethics means practitioners are well-placed to resist the compartmentalising pressures of contemporary work. Quaker business ethics is also highly critical of the manipulative forms of management that MacIntyre regards as dominant. As such, Quaker business ethics provides evidence that more morally ameliorative forms of running business organisations is possible, even if they remain difficult to achieve.

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