Ethics as Practice: An Ethnographic Study of Business Ethics in a Multinational Biopharmaceutical Company

Anna Kirkebæk Johansson Gosovic

Research output: Book/ReportPhD thesis

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Today’s business world is increasingly globalized and increasingly complex and therefore requires companies to operate across multiple countries, cultures and modes of work. Companies are met with demands from shareholders and civil society to manage their business in a responsible and ethical way, and social media channels will ensure broadcasting of companies who fail to comply with these requests no matter where they operate. Companies are therefore keen to live up to corporate ethical standards and communicate to their environments about their ethical business conduct. Sometimes, such efforts materialize into ‘ethics offices’, which are corporate functions with the responsibility for ‘ethics programs’ that are put in place to ensure ethical conduct within companies. With empirical point of departure in one such ethics program in one company and theoretical point of departure in the concept of ‘Recontextualization’ and ‘Ordinary Ethics’, this study investigates what happens when an ethics program travels to business units abroad and how it is recontextualized within these new national contexts. The study explores business ethics as a practical endeavor within different ‘vocational communities of practice’ in the company and further investigates how the ethics program is interpreted and enacted within these communities. The aim is to contribute to academic communities with a theoretically and empirically founded understanding of ethics as practice and of local interpretations of a business ethics program. The aim is also to contribute with insights for companies who seek to ensure adherence to such ethics programs across complex organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages331
ISBN (Print)9788793956247
ISBN (Electronic)9788793956254
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesPhD Series

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