Normative Business Ethics

Amy Sepinwall, Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, is the faculty member responsible for leading the Normative Business Ethics Pillar in the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research.  As the home of normative business ethics at Penn, the Zicklin Center actively supports Wharton faculty and graduate students, as well as other scholarly partners on research projects that explore ethical issues in business from critical and evaluative perspectives. The Zicklin Center organizes lectures, seminars, and similar events at which thought-leaders in practice and academia discuss their work in this field. It also hosts a monthly “works-in-progress” series, with scholars from around the globe in attendance reading and providing feedback on draft articles addressing business ethics issues from a normative perspective.

Research Papers

Subject Area Publications by Faculty

Brian Berkey (2017), Business Ethics and Free Speech on the InternetPhilosophia, 45 (3), pp. 937-945. 10.1007/s11406-016-9785-9

Brian Berkey (2017), Review of Dale Dorsey, The Limits of Moral AuthorityEthics, 128 (1), pp. 235-240. 10.1086/692952

Thomas Donaldson, “Rethinking Right: Moral Epistemology in Management Research” Journal of Business Ethics. 2016. With Tae Wan Kim.

Thomas Donaldson (2015), Where the Facts End: Richard De George and the rise of business ethicsJournal of Business Ethics, 127 (4), pp. 783-787

Robert Hughes (2017), Would Many People Obey Non-Coercive Law?Jurisprudence.

Robert HughesImprisonment and the Right to Freedom of Movement. In Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration, edited by Chris W. Surprenant, (2017), pp. 89-104.

Amy Sepinwall“Blame, Emotion and the Corporation”. In The Moral Responsibility of Firms, edited by Eric W. Orts and N. Craig Smith, (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Amy Sepinwall“Conscientious Objection, Complicity and Accommodation”. In Law, Religion and Health in the United States, edited by I. Glenn Cohen, Holly Lynch, Elizabeth Sepper, (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Alan Strudler (2016), Respectful LyingEthical Theory and Moral Practice, 19 (4), pp. 961-972.

Alan Strudler (2016), What to Do with Corporate WealthJournal of Political Philosophy, 24 (4).


November 16, 2017
The Ethics of Corporate Moral Agency
Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
Washington, DC

Normative Business Ethics Workshop Series
2018 – 2019 Sessions

Friday, November 2, 1-4:30 PM

  • Ruth Sample, University of New Hampshire, (Paper Title: Two Faces of Exploitation)
  • Donna Gitter, Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business, City University of New York (Paper Title: The Ethics of Big Data in Genomics: The Instructive Icelandic Saga of the Incidentalome)
  • Harrison Frye, Georgetown University, (Paper Title: The Ethics of Noncompete Clauses: An Employee-Based Case)

Friday, November 30, 1-4:30 PM

  • Sabine Tsuruda, Queen’s University Faculty of Law, (Paper Title: Working as Equal Moral Agents)
  • Grant J. Rozeboom, Norbert College, (Paper Title: You’re So Smug, I’ll Bet You Don’t Care This Paper Is About You)

Friday, February 8, 1-4:30 PM

  • Ewan Kingston, Duke University, (Paper Title: Boycotting the Boycott: Are There Moral Constraints on Conscientious Consumption?)
  • Wayne Norman, Duke University, (Paper Title: The Very Idea of Adversarial Ethics)
  • Abe Singer, Loyola University Chicago and Alex Kondo, U.S. Department of Labor, (Paper Title: Labor Without Employment: Toward A New Legal and Moral Framework for 21st Century Work)

Friday, March 22, 1-4:30 PM

  • Hrishikesh Joshi, University of Michigan and Jonathan Anomaly, University of San Diego, (Paper Title: The Indeterminacy of Corporate Social Responsibility: Why corporate responsibility depends on background political institutions)
  • Clinton Castro, Florida International University, Adam Pham. University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Alan Rubel, University of Wisconsin-Madison. (Paper Title: Agency Laundering and Information Technology)
  • John Katsos, American University of Sharjah, (Paper Title: Business Ethics, Structural Violence, and the Control of the State)

Friday, April 5, 1-4:30 PM

  • Santiago Mejia, Fordham University, (Paper Title: Which Moral Obligations Carry Over From Principals to Agents?  A Reflection on the Duty of Charity Within Shareholder Theory)
  • Barry Maguire, Stanford University, (Paper Title: Exchange and Alienation)
  • Jegoo Lee, Meehan School of Business, Stonehill College, (Paper Title: Family, A Forgotten Stakeholder)

Friday, May 3, 1-4:30 PM

  • Lee-Ann Chae, Temple University, (Paper Title: Workplace Sexual Harassment as Sex Discrimination?)
  • Monique Wonderly, University of California, San Diego (Paper Title: To be announced.)
  • Ned Dobos, University of New South Wales Canberra, (Paper Title: The “Bullshitization” of Work: an Ethical Analysis)

All sessions will be held at The Wharton School, in Room 641 of Jon M. Huntsman Hall.

The Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, convenes a regular works-in-progress series for scholars working in normative business ethics. In particular, we are interested in papers pursuing business ethics issues from a normative perspective, or papers in moral or political philosophy with implications for the market, distributive justice, labor relations, the role of business in society, etc.