Business Ethics and the Well-Being of Nations - Is There a Connection?

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The aim of this paper is to examine whether and how business ethics is connected with the well-being of a nation. There has been active research in the well-being of nations across the globe in the last two decades, resulting in substantial theoretical progress and a wealth of empirical data on the well-beings of different nations across the globe. Dissatisfied with the conventional measures such as the GDP, well-being researchers have been developing alternative measures that can better capture the true nature of the well-being of a country. The paper begins by examining why the GDP is inadequate as a good measure of the well-being of a country. Major alternative proposals on well-being or similar measures are summarized. Objective well-being of a nation refers to the conditions of well-being of a country. Subjective well-being of a nation is the perceptions of its citizens with regard to their satisfaction with the major conditions of living in that nation. The paper presents two central arguments leading to the conclusion that business ethics is an integral part of the well-being of a country. The first argument utilizes the concept of workplace well-being to establish the linkage. The second argument uses evidence from a recent survey of the perceptions of Taiwanese people on business ethics in relation to the well-being of a nation. The paper also reveals that common values tie the two together at a deeper level.

Author-supplied keywords

  • business ethics
  • business well-being
  • values
  • well-being
  • workplace well-being

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  • Po Keung Ip

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