- Business & Society
- Business Ethics Quarterly
- Journal of Business Ethics
- Business Ethics: A European Review
- Journal of Corporate Citizenship
- Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik
- Journal of Public Economics
He has written two volumes on markets and ethics:
- Economics, Ethics and the Market: Introduction and Applications (Routledge, 2007);
- The Market, Happiness and Solidarity: A Christian Perspective (Routledge, 2010).
During 2010-2013 he conducted a major research project into Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe on behalf of the European Union, in which 13,500 companies from 12 European countries provided data for a large survey developed by prof. Graafland. Recently, Graafland has written several articles on Calvin, economics and the credit crisis, on Aristotle’s and Adam Smith’s virtue ethics in relation to markets, and on MacIntyre’s virtue ethics and professional ethics in the financial sector. Prof. Graafland is currently editor of the section on Adam Smith in the Handbook on Virtue Ethics in Business and Management (to be published in 2015 by Springer). In 2014 Graafland published an article on the relationship between economic freedom, trust, GPD and happiness in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
Deelproject(en) in het Goede Markten Project
Selection of Publications
Routlege, London, 2014, ISBN: 9781138805439.
The past two decades of market operation has generated welfare and economic growth in Western countries, but increasing income inequalities, depletion of the natural environment and the current financial crisis have led to an intense debate about the advantages and disadvantages of the free market. With this book, Professor Graafland makes a valuable contribution to the Christian debate about the market economy. In particular, it aims to clarify the links between ethical values, Christian belief and economics, as well as informing theologians and economists about recent economic insights into market operation.
The book investigates the effect of free market operation on welfare and well-being, calling into question why one would favour more market competition as a means of increasing happiness. As well as this, Professor Graafland examines how free market competition relates to principles of justice and looks at whether it enforces or crowds out Christian virtues like love, humility and temperance.
Books that systematically link biblical teaching about the economy to recent theoretical and empirical research in economics on free market operation are rare. Most Christian books on the market system are theologically oriented, lacking a sound basis in the extensive knowledge of the recent economic literature on market operation. This book confronts Christian ethical standards with current economic literature on the effects of market operation on welfare, happiness, human rights, inequality and virtues in order to develop a well-based and balanced view of the pros and cons of market operation. This book will be of interest to both undergraduate and postgraduate students of economics, philosophy and theology.
Wells, Thomas; Graafland, Johan
Adam Smith’s Bourgeois Virtues in Competition Journal Article
In: Business Ethics Quarterly, 22 (2), pp. 319-350, 2012.
Whether or not capitalism is compatible with ethics is a long standing dispute. We take up an approach to virtue ethics inspired by Adam Smith and consider how market competition influences the virtues most associated with modern commercial society. Up to a point, competition nurtures and supports such virtues
as prudence, temperance, civility, industriousness and honesty. But there are also various mechanisms by which competition can have deleterious effects on the institutions and incentives necessary for sustaining even these most commercially friendly of virtues. It is often supposed that if competitive markets are good, more competition must always be better. However, in the long run competition enhancing
policies that neglect the nurturing and support of the bourgeois virtues may undermine the continued flourishing of modern commercial society.
Graafland, Johan; van de Ven, B.
In: Journal of Business Ethics, 103 (4), pp. 605-619, 2011.
Starting from MacIntyre’s virtue ethics, we investigate several codes of conduct of banks to identify the type of virtues that are needed to realize their mission. Based on this analysis, we define three core virtues: honesty, due care, and accuracy. We compare and contrast these codes of conduct with the actual behavior of banks that led to the credit crisis and find that in some cases banks did not behave according to the moral standards they set themselves. However, although banks and the professionals working in them can be blamed for what they did, one should also acknowledge that the institutional context of the free market economy in which they operated made it difficult to live up to the core values lying at the basis of the codes of conduct. Given the neo-liberal free market system, innovative and risky strategies to enhance profits are considered desirable for the sake of shareholder’s interests. A return to the core virtues in the financial sector will therefore only succeed if a renewed sense of responsibility in the sector is supported by institutional changes that allow banks to put their mission into practice.
Do Markets Crowd Out Virtues? An Aristotelian Framework Journal Article
In: Journal of Business Ethics, 91 (1), pp. 1–19, 2009.
The debate on the influence of markets on virtues has focused on two opposite hypotheses: the doux commerce thesis and the self-destruction thesis. Whereas the doux commerce hypothesis assumes that capitalism polishes human manners, the self-destruction hypothesis holds that capitalism erodes the moral foundation of society. This paper will develop a more balanced position by using the virtue ethics developed by Aristotle, which distinguishes several virtues. The research will focus on the question for which virtues the doux commerce or self-destruction thesis is likely to hold. An extensive literature survey shows that market competition tends to stimulate diligence, crowd out temperance, generosity, and sociability, and stimulate envy. The effect on other virtues – i.e. courage, high-spiritedness, justice, and prudence – is ambiguous.
2007, ISBN: 9780415558280.
The primary aim of the text is to introduce the reader to the relationship between economics and ethics and to the application of economic ethics in the evaluation of the market. The reader will gain insight into: (1) The ethical and methodological strategy of economics and criticism of the core assumptions that underpin the economic defence of free market operation; (2) The characteristics of different ethical theories (utilitarianism, duty and rights ethics, justice and virtue ethics) that can be used to evaluate the free market; (3) How to apply economics in conjunction with ethical theories to evaluate economic trends and policies that promote the free operation of the market and are subject to public debate. These insights will help to develop the reasoning and analytical skills needed to criticize economic analysis as well as to apply ethical concepts to moral issues in economic policy.
Graafland, Johan; Kaptein, Muel; Mazereeuw-VanDerDuijnSchouten, Corrie
In: Journal of Business Ethics, (66), pp. 53-70, 2006.
This paper explores the relationship between religious belief and the dilemmas Dutch executives confront in daily business practice. We find that the frequency with which dilemmas arise is directly related to various aspects of religious belief, such as the belief in a transcendental being and the intensity of religious practice. Despite this relationship, only 17% of the dilemmas examined involve a religious standard. Most dilemmas originate from a conflict between moral and practical standards. We also find that 79% of the identified dilemmas stem from a conflict between two or more internalized standards of the executive.
Graafland, Johan; Mazereeuw, C.; Yahia, A.
In: Business Ethics: A European Review, 15 (4), pp. 390-406, 2006.
This paper explores the relationship between the Islamic religion and the level of socially responsible business conduct (SRBC) of Islamic entrepreneurs. The authors find that the common ideas of SRBC correspond with the view of business in Islam, although there are also some notable differences. They also find that Muslim entrepreneurs attach a higher weight to specific elements of SRBC than do non-Muslims. However, they also find that Muslims are less involved with applying SRBC in practice than non-Muslim managers.
Articles & Blogs
April 16, 2019
February 19, 2019
The Psychological Mechanisms behind the Workings of the Invisible Hand
January 20, 2018
Series "'Good Markets' book interviews":
Which books – classics or recently published – should you read to acquire a deep understanding of markets and morality? In this series of interviews researchers from the project ‘What Good Markets are Good for’ make their personal recommendation.
Articles in this series:
September 20, 2017