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In Search of Bauman’s Moral Impulse in Shadow Factories of China

Authors: Akram Hatami, Naser Firoozi, Vesa Puhakka


Ethics and responsibility are rapidly becoming a distinguishing feature of organizations. In this paper, we analyze ethics and responsibility in shadow factories in China. We engage ourselves with Bauman’s moral impulse perspective because his idea can contextualize ethics and responsibility. Moral impulse is a feeling of a selfless, infinite and unconditional responsibility towards, and care for, Others. We analyze a case study from a secondary data source because, for such a critical phenomenon as business ethics in shadow factories, collecting primary data is difficult, since they are unregistered factories. We argue that there has not been enough attention given to the ethics and responsibility in shadow factories in China. Our main goal is to demonstrate that, considering the Other, more importantly the employees, in ethical decision-making is a simple instruction beyond the narrow version of ethics by ethical codes and rules.

Keywords: Moral impulse, responsibility, shadow factories, the other.

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