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).


The Thomas W. Dunfee Distinguished Lecture Series in Ethics Presents Kwame Anthony Appiah
Thursday, September 30, 2021, The Wharton School


Normative Business Ethics Workshop Series 2021 – 2022 Sessions

Friday, November 19, 1‐4:30 PM, Zoom

  • Samuel Director, Brown, Do Adaptive Preferences Undermine Consent?
  • Franzicka Poprawe, Zurich, How Free are Firms in Free Markets?
  • Carolina Villegas-Galaviz & Kirsten Martine, Notre Dame, Moral Distance, AI, and the Ethics of Healthcare 

Friday, December 10, 1‐4:30 PM, Zoom

  • Caleb Bernacchio, Cal State-Monterey Bay, Experimentation, Innovation, and Virtue
  • Joel Chow, Arizona, Competition and the Demands of Solidarity
  • Abraham Singer, Loyola-Chicago, & Amit Ron, Arizona State, The Impressionable Demos

Fall sessions will be held via Zoom – please see specific links above.

Spring sessions schedule in person but subject to current University COVID restrictions.  Please contact for details.

Friday, February 11, 1‐4:30 PM, 641 Jon M Huntsman Hall

  • Gil Hersch, Virginia Tech, & Thomas Rowe, King’s College, Between Abundance and Scarcity
  • Nicola Mulkeen, Warwick, Intergenerational Exploitation
  • Franz Altner, Vienna, The Possibility of Autonomous Corporate Action

Friday, March 4, 1‐4:30 PM, 641 Jon M Huntsman Hall

  • Ben Hale, Colorado, Fidgety Widgets
  • Tom Parr, Warwick, Good Jobs and Their Importance
  • Joshua Preiss, Minnesota State-Mankato, The Good Jobs Approach

Friday, March 25, 1‐4:30 PM, 641 Jon M Huntsman Hall

  • Joseph Bowen, Stockholm, Making Others Go Further Beyond the Call
  • Grant Rozeboom, St. Mary’s, Against Managerial Moral Vigilantism
  • Christian Schemmel, Manchester, Recognition and Pay

Friday, May 6, 1‐4:30 PM, 641 Jon M Huntsman Hall

  • Aatif Abbas, Syracuse, Reconceptualizing Risk
  • Rachel Handley, Trinity College Dublin, A Metaethical Approach to Business Ethics
  • Dale Dorsey Kansas, Abuse of Power
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.