Over the 2017-2018 academic year, the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, will be convening a regular works-in-progress series for scholars working in normative business ethics (NBE). In particular, we are interested in papers pursuing business ethics issues from a normative perspective, or papers in moral or political philosophy with implications for the market, distributive justice, labor relations, the role of business in society, etc.

Workshop Objectives

The series is part of an effort to foster, and increase the prominence of, normative business ethics in the academy and the public sphere. This particular initiative has two key objectives:

  1. First, it endeavors to provide a regular forum for scholars working on business ethics from a normative perspective. The community of such scholars is relatively small, and dispersed across numerous institutions, and there are few opportunities for these individuals to convene and share work. This series is an effort to connect these scholars, and enrich their shared intellectual life.
  2. Second, the series aims to be especially valuable to junior faculty, by providing them with feedback from, and opportunities to interact with, more established members of the normative business ethics community. To that end, we hope to have one junior author and one senior author at each session.

Workshop Format

The workshop will meet over the academic year for a total of 5 sessions. Anyone with an interest in normative business ethics is invited to attend the sessions. Faculty interested in having their paper discussed at the workshop should submit an abstract and list, in order of preference, the date(s) they could present from those listed below. (Further information about submission can be found under the “Call for Abstracts” below.) Two or three draft papers will be selected for each session. Complete draft papers will be circulated at least one week in advance of each session and participants will be expected to have read them carefully, and to arrive at the workshop prepared to offer constructive feedback.

The sessions will be structured so as to maximize the opportunity for paper improvement through the comments of a community of scholars committed to normative business ethics. To that end, authors will not present at the session for which their paper has been assigned. Instead, those gathered will go around the table and each participant will offer a few points of feedback on the paper.

An author whose paper is selected for presentation in a given semester will bear an obligation to attend the other sessions that semester or to send feedback via email to the authors whose papers are presented at any session that she is unable to attend. In this way, each author will be assured of a good number of responses to her paper.

The Zicklin Center will provide the room and refreshments for each session. Sessions will begin at 1:00 pm unless otherwise indicated.  Some travel funding is available for paper authors for the session at which their paper will be discussed. Attendees will be asked to pay for their own travel expenses.

Workshop dates

The Fall 2017 workshop will be held on the following dates:

  • Friday, October 20th
  • Friday, December 1st

The Spring 2018 workshop will be held on the following dates:

  • Friday, January 26th
  • Friday, March 16th
  • Friday, May 4th

Call for Abstracts

We invite individuals interested in workshopping a paper in normative business ethics to submit a paper abstract. The abstract should be a maximum of 500 words, and the accompanying email should indicate three preferred dates in order of preference of presentation from those listed above. Please send these to Lauretta Tomasco, tomascol@wharton.upenn.edu, by July 18, 2017. Individuals will be notified about whether their paper has been selected for presentation after the selection process is completed.

Please address all questions to Brian Berkey (bberkey@wharton.upenn.edu) or Rob Hughes (hughesrc@wharton.upenn.edu).