Sustainability, Basic Ethical Principles, and Innovation

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In order to demonstrate the relation between sustainability, innovation, and business legitimacy, this chapter shows how a phenomenological body and principle ethics can be integrated into business ethics, philosophy of management, and organizational theory by discussing some philosophical, theological, and social science dimensions of environment and bioethics. The problem is how a body ethics and the concepts of autonomy, dignity, integrity, and vulnerability can make sense to the notion of “sustainable development” as the foundation of sustainable innovation that today forms the basis of international environmental policy. This is inspired by the concept of “ecoethical innovation.” The chapter shows how, in an organizational theoretical perspective, environmental ethics can be regarded as a critique of previous anthropocentric ethics, which is necessaryfor sustainable innovation and business legitimacy. This is done in order to present a position in relation to the debate on the moral status of nature. This discussion makes it possible to propose a precise statement of environmental ethics by incorporating the concepts of interest and stakeholder as a specification of the ethical principles from an organizational theoretical perspective. Thus, the chapter defines the application of the principles in relation to animals, nature, and the environment. Finally, the chapter proposes to explore the importance of organizational theory for corporate ethics of sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Business Legitimacy : Responsibility, Ethics and Society
EditorsRendtorff Jacob Dahl
Number of pages28
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14621-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-14622-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Sustainable development
  • Ethical Principles
  • Vulnerability
  • Eco-ethical innovation
  • Anthropocene

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