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February 2019 – January 2020
Mihaela Constantinescu (married Șimon) is a researcher at the Research Centre in Applied Ethics, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest. She obtained her PhD at the University of Bucharest, with a thesis on “The Moral Responsibility of Organisations”, partly documented at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. Her research interests include organizational ethics, virtue ethics, and corporate responsibility, approached within the philosophical framework of the Aristotelian moral thought. Mihaela co-authored the Romanian volume on Institutionalising Ethics: Mechanisms and Instruments and is author and co-author of articles published in international volumes and scientific journals such as the “Journal of Business Ethics”. With an academic background in both philosophy and communication, Mihaela has previously worked as a public relations consultant in the private, nongovernmental and public sectors, while offering ethics counselling to the latter.
Virtue ethics and moral responsibility in organizations: an Aristotelian account
When an unethical outcome arises in organizational contexts, it is important to know who bears moral responsibility for it, in view of preventing future unethical actions that might impact multiple parties. However, it is definitely not easy to give a straightforward solution to the complex ascriptions of moral responsibility in such settings. It is rather a matter of understanding the interplay between individual moral choices and the organizational environment. To this end, the current project explains moral responsibility in organizations from a virtue ethics, Aristotelian perspective. It offers a theoretical integration between philosophical ethical virtues as developed in Aristotelian virtue ethics and the notion of virtuousness as developed in positive social sciences. While the approach discusses the role of ethical virtues for individual moral responsibility, it uses the construct of virtuousness to address organizational moral responsibility. Ultimately, understanding the connections between individual and organizational moral responsibility could be a starting point for a deep and thorough reform of our organizational world, one in which both organizations and the individuals within them become more aware of their ethical role and the responsibility it brings along.