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 of gathering, with scholars from around the globe in attendance reading and exchanging 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).


Normative Business Ethics Workshop Series

2017-2018 Sessions

Friday, October 20, 2017, 1-4:30 PM

  • Keith Diener, Stockton University, (Paper Title: Organizational Freedom and Stakeholder Responsibility)
  • Josephine Sandler Nelson, Villanova University, (Paper Title: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Corporate Crime)
  • Philipp Schreck, Ingo Pies, Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg, and Karl Homann, Ludqig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, (Paper Title: Single-Objective v. Multi-Objective Theories of the Firm: Using a Constitutional Perspective to Resolve an Old Debate)

Friday, December 1, 2017, 1-4:30 PM

  • Kenneth Silver, University of Southern California, (Paper Title: Corporate Behavior and Corporate Action)
  • Eric Palmer, Allegheny College, (Paper Title: Implications of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: The “Global Partnership for Development”)
  • Åsbjørn Melkevik, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, (Paper Title: A Theory of Eunomics: The Means-Ends Relation in Business Ethics)

Friday, January 26, 2018, 1:30-4 PM

  • Thomas Mulligan, Georgetown University, (Paper Title: Do People Deserve their Economic Rents?)
  • Mihaelis Diamantis, University of Iowa, College of Law, (Paper Title: Sticky Liabilities: Corporate Essence and Identity in Criminal Law )

Friday, March 16, 2018, 1-4:30 PM

  • Clinton Castro and Adam K. Pham, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Paper Title: The Moral Limits of the Market: The Case of Consumer Scoring Data)
  • Kristina Meshelski, California State University, Northridge, (Paper Title: The Significance of Pure Procedural Justice)
  • Kian Mintz-Woo, University of Graz, (Paper Title: How Business Should Deal with Climate Loss and Damage)

Friday, May 4, 2018, 1-4:30 PM

  • Jeff Moriarty, Bentley University, (Paper Title: The Ethics of Nonmarket Strategies in an Imperfect World)
  • Alec Vincent Sculley, Western Michigan University, (Paper Title: Culpable Ignorance Even When One Cannot Be Expected to Know)
  • Nina Windgatter, University of Michigan, (Paper Title: Workplace Domination and Epistemic Injustice)

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.