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A personalist approach to business ethics: new perspectives for virtue ethics and servant leadership

Scalzo, G., Akrivou, K. ORCID: and González, M. J. F. (2023) A personalist approach to business ethics: new perspectives for virtue ethics and servant leadership. Business Ethics, Environment & Responsibility, 32 (52). pp. 145-158. ISSN 2694-6424

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/beer.12435


This article has a twofold purpose: first, it explores how Polo’s personalist anthropology enriches and enhances neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics and, second, it highlights how this specific personalist approach brings new perspectives to servant leadership. The recently revived neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics tradition finds in MacIntyre’s scholarship– particularly in his conception of practices, institutions, and internal/external goods– a great contribution to virtue ethics in business. However, we argue that some of his latest insights about the virtues of acknowledged dependence and human vulnerability remain underdeveloped in reason of the underlying anthropology in neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics. To overcome this limitation, we introduce Polo’s transcendental anthropology as a possible foundation for a personalist approach to enrich virtue ethics. To do so, we address how transcendental anthropology can enrich two central aspects of virtue ethics: (1) the understanding of human beings and their flourishing and, (2) the relationship of virtue to praxis and human work. Finally, to show some practical implications for business leadership and work that can derive from the assumption of a transcendental anthropology, we address how servant leadership acquires a new perspective in light of this personalism and its logic of gift, highlighting interpersonal self-giving as a way of service. Key words: Logic of gift, MacIntyre, Personalism, Polo, Servant leadership, Transcendental anthropology, Virtue ethics

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:104708

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