Developing a framework for determining when a company should introduce a new ethical norm

Muel Kaptein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


When should a company introduce a new ethical norm? This article uses the value-belief-norm theory to argue that the more an ethical issue threatens a company's ethical value and the more the company has an ethical responsibility to protect such value against such threat, then the more desirable it is for a company to establish ethical norms to protect said value. Distinguishing seven characteristics of an ethical issue and four conditions for a company's ethical responsibility helps identify the situations in which a company should introduce a new ethical norm. The resulting framework, with corresponding guidelines, specifies two accelerators and one inhibitor that influence the desirable speed for introducing new norms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalBusiness and Society Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author. Business and Society Review published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Albert P. Viragh Institute for Ethics in Business at Duquesne University.


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