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Re-evaluating the realist conception of war as a business metaphor

Re-evaluating the realist conception of war as a business metaphor
Re-evaluating the realist conception of war as a business metaphor


The state of war is a popular metaphor employed by many business writers seeking to explain the imperatives of strategic decision-making. It is a metaphor which draws on a “realist” characterisation of war as a Hobbesian state of nature devoid of a moral dimension. However, the work of Walzer (1977) has demonstrated that rules of war, established over generations and across cultural divides, play a significant role in the conduct of warfare. Through identifying and analysing rules of war in parallel with ethical dilemmas in business life, such as whistleblowing, it is possible to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the war metaphor in place of simplified, state of nature realism. This alternative version of the war metaphor is a useful means of introducing students to Aristotlean virtues as well as challenging their preconceptions about the nature of business activity
1382-6891
27-35
MacFarlane, Bruce
3e2b9eb0-1772-4642-bb51-ab49cc5b748c
MacFarlane, Bruce
3e2b9eb0-1772-4642-bb51-ab49cc5b748c

(1999) Re-evaluating the realist conception of war as a business metaphor. Teaching Business Ethics, 3 (1), 27-35. (doi:10.1023/A:1009753807317).

Record type: Article

Abstract



The state of war is a popular metaphor employed by many business writers seeking to explain the imperatives of strategic decision-making. It is a metaphor which draws on a “realist” characterisation of war as a Hobbesian state of nature devoid of a moral dimension. However, the work of Walzer (1977) has demonstrated that rules of war, established over generations and across cultural divides, play a significant role in the conduct of warfare. Through identifying and analysing rules of war in parallel with ethical dilemmas in business life, such as whistleblowing, it is possible to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the war metaphor in place of simplified, state of nature realism. This alternative version of the war metaphor is a useful means of introducing students to Aristotlean virtues as well as challenging their preconceptions about the nature of business activity

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Published date: 1999
Organisations: Southampton Education School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374040
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374040
ISSN: 1382-6891
PURE UUID: ad2e77f7-ccac-40a0-80ca-53dc048eea50

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Date deposited: 02 Feb 2015 14:52
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:30

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