Date of Defense




First Advisor

Sandra Borden, Communication

Second Advisor

Raymond Alie, Management

Third Advisor

John Martell, Lee Honors College


The well-rounded person is one who appears to demonstrate virtues needed to function well in society. If society values well-rounded persons, might it not also want well-rounded corporations as players in the business sector? If these attributes help a person function well in society, might we expect the same standards of corporations, power and influential institutions in society? It is the goal of this paper to show that a corporation can and should undergo moral scrutiny independently of its stockholders, management, and employees. This paper demonstrates that corporations are moral agents that can be critically examined using the theory of Virtue Ethics.

"Can corporations have "good will" [and, if so, be benevolent, kind and caring]; can they also have "grave shortcomings," and if so, should they be expected to show regret and remorse" (Moore, 1999, pp. 329)? to answer these questions, this paper will first argue that the corporate structure meets the criteria set forth in the literature to gain the assignment of a moral agent status. Second, this paper will outline the fundamentals of virtue ethics theory and demonstrate that it is an appropriate tool for analyzing the corporate moral agent. Third, this paper will apply virtue ethics to corporate character through the analysis of a case study. Finally, this paper will make suggestions on how corporations can cultivate virtues within their characters.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only