June 2014

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Inter-disciplinary Research Applied Ethics, Economic History and Moral Psychology

It  may be worthwhile sharing via our blog the news on an exciting inter-disciplinary research in the Centre of Economic History of the University of Reading and Henley Business School’s Centre of Social and Organisational Studies (CSOS).  Specifically on June 17, 2014 I organised an international academic symposium titled “The Challenges of Capitalism for the Common Good”.  The symposium, linking business and applied ethics, economic history and moral/organisational psychology was very successful and stimulated inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional research relations, with 62 academics from Reading, other UK universities,  Spain, Austria, France and other European and US universities.  Reading Academics with key part were Professors Marc Casson and Joel Felix, Dr Lucy Newton, and I (Kleio Akrivou).  Among the prominent international academics who gave the talks were Professor Agustin Enciso (Spain) and Alisdair Dobie (UK), and Professors Daryl Koehn (Minnesota, USA), Alejo Sison (Spain), and Ron Beadle (UK), and Geoff Moore (Durham).

The symposium line of enquiry examined the evolution of ethics and morality from the Aristotelian conception of virtue,  prosperity (eudaimonia) and citizenship  in the classic Greek network of inter-dependent political communities of city-states (polis), through pre-modern, and medieval times in Europe.   The second part of the symposium examined the evolution of ethics and morality of self-interest and rationality in the modern wage labour capitalist economic and social organisation, with a focus on the problem of definition of the common good in economy, society and the firm, and the enquiry on the moral and human psychology which may support virtue ethics within a utilitarian capitalist commercial sphere of exchange and work.  We all loved the insights, the opportunity to share critical informed perspectives and visions for the future, as well as the conversational space allowing shared reflection and research enquiry in the community of participants and the speakers. It was an exciting and very successful event and there is ongoing research synergy now being built across the Economic History Research Centre in the Humanities / Social Sciences and the business School academics on this topic. A great thanks to all who contributed and kindly assisted me in the organisation of this conference!  Kleio Akrivou, Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Organisational Behaviour, Henley Business School (Member of the Centre of Economic History, the University of Reading, UK).

Dr Kleio Akrivou

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