Normative Business Ethics

Amy Sepinwall, Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, is the faculty member responsible for leading the Normative Business Ethics Pillar in the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research.  As the home of normative business ethics at Penn, the Zicklin Center actively supports Wharton faculty and graduate students, as well as other scholarly partners on research projects that explore ethical issues in business from critical and evaluative perspectives. The Zicklin Center organizes lectures, seminars, and similar events at which thought-leaders in practice and academia discuss their work in this field. It also hosts a monthly “works-in-progress” series, with scholars from around the globe in attendance reading and providing feedback on draft articles addressing business ethics issues from a normative perspective.

Research Papers

Subject Area Publications by Faculty

Brian Berkey (2017), Business Ethics and Free Speech on the InternetPhilosophia, 45 (3), pp. 937-945. 10.1007/s11406-016-9785-9

Brian Berkey (2017), Review of Dale Dorsey, The Limits of Moral AuthorityEthics, 128 (1), pp. 235-240. 10.1086/692952

Thomas Donaldson, “Rethinking Right: Moral Epistemology in Management Research” Journal of Business Ethics. 2016. With Tae Wan Kim.

Thomas Donaldson (2015), Where the Facts End: Richard De George and the rise of business ethicsJournal of Business Ethics, 127 (4), pp. 783-787

Robert Hughes (2017), Would Many People Obey Non-Coercive Law?Jurisprudence.

Robert HughesImprisonment and the Right to Freedom of Movement. In Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration, edited by Chris W. Surprenant, (2017), pp. 89-104.

Amy Sepinwall“Blame, Emotion and the Corporation”. In The Moral Responsibility of Firms, edited by Eric W. Orts and N. Craig Smith, (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Amy Sepinwall“Conscientious Objection, Complicity and Accommodation”. In Law, Religion and Health in the United States, edited by I. Glenn Cohen, Holly Lynch, Elizabeth Sepper, (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Alan Strudler (2016), Respectful LyingEthical Theory and Moral Practice, 19 (4), pp. 961-972.

Alan Strudler (2016), What to Do with Corporate WealthJournal of Political Philosophy, 24 (4).


Normative Business Ethics Workshop Series 2022 – 2023 Sessions

Sept. 30, 2022, 1p-4:30p, 641 Jon M. Huntsman Hall

  • Aatif Abbas, D. Candidate, Philosophy Department, Syracuse University, NY
    • “Corporations Choose Differently: A Case for Strict Liability for Businesses”
  • Dale Dorsey, Dean’s Professor, Philosophy
    • “Abuse of Power,”
  • Amanda Greene, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Samuel J. Gilbert – Affiliated Researcher, University of Cambridge
    • “More Data, More Power? Towards a Theory of Digital Legitimacy”

 Oct. 28, 2022, 1p-4:30p, 641 Jon M. Huntsman Hall

  • Jason D’Cruz, Associate Professor, Philosophy (SUNY-IBM Research Alliance) and William Kidder, Technical Writer, Status Labs
    • “The Empathy Gap: Why AI Can Forecast Behavior But Cannot Assess Trustworthiness”
  • Alexander Motchoulski, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, University of Virginia
    • “Why Egalitarians Should Tolerate Hierarchy in the Workplace”
  • Kirun Sankaran, Teaching Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina
    • “Cash Rules Everything Around Me”

Dec. 2, 2022, 1p-4:30p, 641 Jon M. Huntsman Hall

  • Arianna Dini, Doctoral Candidate with the Universities of Vienna and Turin
    • “Algorithmic Collusion”
  • Jonathan Drake, Assistant Professor at Creighton University, Heider College of Business, and Alexei Marcoux, Professor of Business, Ethics and Society, and Institute for Economic Inquiry Senior Scholar at Creighton University, Heider College of Business
    • “Reading Friedman Liberally”
  • Vida Panitch, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Ethics and Public Affairs, Carleton University
    • “Decommodification as Exploitation”

Feb. 3, 2023, 1p-4:30p, 641 Jon M. Huntsman Hall

  • Kyle Scott, Ph.D. Candidate, Philosophy, UCLA
    • “Alienated Labor, Meaningful Work, and the Reproduction of Labor Power”
  • Erik Malmqvist, Senior Lecturer, Gothenburg University, Sweden, and András Szigeti, Associate Professor, Linköping University/Lund University, Sweden
    • “The Wrong, the Bad, and the Ugly: Exploring the Badness of Exploitation”
  • Carson Young, Assistant Professor of Management, SUNY Brockport
    • “There is no Libertarian Theory of Corporate Governance”

 March 17, 2023, 1p-4:30p, 641 Jon M. Huntsman Hall

  • Barbara Bziuk, Ph.D. Candidate, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Utrecht University
    • “Business Corporations and the Social Connection Model: Taking the Structural Injustice Seriously”
  • Mario Juarez-Garcia, Visiting Assistant Professor, Philosophy Department & Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy, at the University of San Diego
    • “When Moral Talk Becomes Profitable”
  • Stanislas Richard, Aspiration Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Victoria
    • “Exploitation, Commodification, and the Non-Worseness Claim”

 April 14, 2023, 1p-4:30p, 641 Jon M. Huntsman Hall

  • Rachel Handley, Teaching College in Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin
    • “A Metaethical Approach to Business Ethics”
  • Kritika Maheshwari, Post-doctoral Fellow, TU Delft, and Jef Delvaux, Ph.D. student, York University
    • “When Proud Boys Come for Fred Perry: Corporate Responsibility in the Age of Hatejacking.”
  • Kenneth Silver, Assistant Professor in Business Ethics, Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin
    • “Theory of the Firm and Genealogy”
The Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, convenes a regular works-in-progress series for scholars working in normative business ethics. In particular, we are interested in papers pursuing business ethics issues from a normative perspective, or papers in moral or political philosophy with implications for the market, distributive justice, labor relations, the role of business in society, etc.