Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Ethical Management of Organizations: Giving Voice to All

Dr. John Budd, Graham E. Higgs.

The global situation as it exists today calls for ethical management of all organizations, public and private. Evidence of some organizations' failure to maintain an ethical stance is clear. This paper will employ the basis articulated most clearly and forcefully by Jurgen Habermas. The basis is a discourse ethics grounded in the free and willing participation of all rational players. Habermas's theme occurs in some of the literature on organization theory; for example, Richard Hull (Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 12, no. 3, 2000) addresses the issue of ethics and innovation. Of necessity, the discourse ethics program incorporates dialogue as a means to understanding the affective and the epistemological stances of all speakers. Cliff Oswick and others (Journal of Management Studies, 37, no. 6, 2000) recognize the importance of this dialogic communication. Survival, as well as thriving, of organizations in the future requires a full integration of dialogic ethical discourse so that knowledge can be most effectively shared and used. This paper applies a model of communicative action to address the need for such integration. The model illustrates a communication framework that can be used in all organizations to define what can be known and, further, to reach a meaningful understanding and acceptance of the ethical goals of the organization.


Dr. John Budd  (United States)
Professor, Information Science
School of Information Science and Learning Technologies
University of Missouri-Columbia

John M. Budd earned his doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel and is now on the faculty of the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Graham E. Higgs  (United States)

Columbia College

  • Ethics
  • Discourse
  • Discourse Ethics
  • Communication
  • Knowledge
  • Meaning
Person as Subject
  • Habermas, Jurgen

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)