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(2019) Systems thinking and moral imagination, Dordrecht, Springer.

Moral imagination and the search for ethical decision-making in management

Patricia Werhane

pp. 63-84

This article is the precursor to Werhane's full development of her theory of moral imagination. In this piece she espouses and develops the view that as managers we often get stuck or routinized in mental models or mindsets that we have adopted almost uncritically. That is to say, such managers may operate in a way that they are oblivious to important consequential information, or they fail to question their judgment or think to ask, "why are we doing this?" as detailed in Dennis Gioia's (1992) confessional article in which he acknowledges not recognizing ethical issues while in the role of Recall Coordinator at Ford Motor Company. Using Gioia as well as other examples, Werhane argues that each of us can often be preoccupied with a single way of looking at our experiences, as through the lens of an ingrained and routinized mental model, and thus we either totally miss or even misinterpret important data. By the use of moral imagination, she argues, managers are able to work their way out of such ethical mires.Original publication: Werhane, Patricia H. "Moral Imagination and the Search for Ethical Decision-Making in Management." Ruffin Foundation Special Issue: Business Ethics Quarterly (1998) 8: 75–98. ©1998 Reprinted with permission.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-89797-4_5

Full citation:

Werhane, P. (2019)., Moral imagination and the search for ethical decision-making in management, in D. Bevan & R. W. Wolfe (eds.), Systems thinking and moral imagination, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 63-84.

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