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Between Enterprise and EthicsBusiness and Management in a Bimoral Society$
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John Hendry

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199268634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268634.001.0001

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Economic Culture and the Legitimacy of Self-interest

Economic Culture and the Legitimacy of Self-interest

(p.98) CHAPTER 4 Economic Culture and the Legitimacy of Self-interest
Between Enterprise and Ethics

John Hendry (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the growing influence of economic culture in the late 20th century and the associated increase in the social legitimacy of self-interest. Key features of the economic mindset include the acceptance and assumption of self-interest, money as a measure of good, an emphasis on property and possession, agency and control, a prioritizing of the present, and a privileging of markets. Perfectly justifiable within particular areas of economics, these ideas have grown to dominate arenas in which they are less evidently appropriate, including public policy generally and the practice of business.

Keywords:   agency, flexible economy, self-interest, economic ideas

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