Experiential ethics: A blueprint for personal and corporate ethics

Research paper by Patrick Primeaux

Indexed on: 01 Oct '92Published on: 01 Oct '92Published in: Journal of Business Ethics


There is a tendency to think of ethics as a universal body of principles governing human behavior. Richard R. Niebuhr challenges this universalist perspective by examining the development of human consciousness as an individual enterprise originating in immediate human experience. His conclusions lead us towards an understanding of conscience as likewise individual and experiential. It also enables us to identify a corporate consciousness or conscience which accounts for, yet prescinds, individual differences. In effect, Niebuhr's thinking in these matters provides us with a chart or blueprint for better ethical decision-making in business situations.