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Title: The Impossible Writing of Business Ethics
Authors: Karamali, Eleni
Supervisors: Lilley, Simon
Award date: 22-Jun-2012
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis offers a deconstructive reading of Business Ethics. Following Jacques Derrida, it shows how a deconstructive reading is not a reading which brings a set of protocols to an object or judgments to a field - we are not here concerned with offering an external criticism of Business Ethics, as if we were privy to its incontestable truth from the very outset. Instead, our reading of Business Ethics is a reading which strives to come to terms with Business Ethics’ own limits by considering how the literature on Business Ethics limits itself. We pursue this reading of Business Ethics as a self-limiting writing along two principal registers - hospitality and translation – in both cases demonstrating how Business Ethics constitutes its outside as an outside which it simultaneously treats as an inside, and thereby annihilates. It is in this sense that we read Business Ethics as an ‘impossible writing’, impossible precisely because the very self-presence it seeks to grant to itself - the would-be language of ethical business - is itself foreclosed within the very gesture of seeking an encounter with a language it takes as its own. The first such gesture we consider is the manner in which Business Ethics invites the work of Emmanuel Levinas, albeit on certain conditions which serve only to make a welcoming of Levinasian ethics impossible. The second such gesture we consider is the manner in which Business Ethics translates itself into and out of the languages of Business and Ethics respectively, only to make its own language impossible. These two instances of impossibility, rather than serving to fatally limit the field, must rather be read as fundamentally constitutive of it. I conclude by arguing for an understanding of Business Ethics writing as both necessary and impossible.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author, 2012
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Management
Leicester Theses

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