Henri-Claude de Bettignies
Emeritus Professor of Asian Business
Marc Le Menestrel
Affiliate Professor of Decision Sciences
BUSINESS ETHICS;PETROLEUM INDUSTRY AND TRADE;CLIMATIC CHANGES;AR0203;AR2002;RD0902;
The authors present a model of rational behavior by which they characterize business ethical dilemmas as trade-offs between processes and consequences. As an illustration, they formulate the oil industry's business ethical dilemma as a trade-off between a socially detrimental process (emitting greenhouse gases, hence inducing a risk of climate change) and a self-interested consequence (profits).The proposed framework allows them to specify two types of strategies, differing by whether priority is given to the consequences or to the processes. They analyze and illustrate these strategies at both the behavioral and the discursive levels.In particular, communication strategies raise questions about good faith in business argumentation, in the sense that business discourse may or may not be consistent with actual assumptions and/or actual behaviors. They conclude on possible drivers of more ethical business behavior.