Laszlo Zsolnai (Ed.): The European Difference – Business Ethics in the Community of European Management Shools . Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston – Dordrecht – London, 1998. (This book may be available at Amazon)
The book presents the business ethics visions, programs and experiences of member universities of the Community of European Management Schools (CEMS). Since the authors are leading professors of business ethics in different European countries, the book can serve as a special guide to the European business ethics movement.
Our book presents the business ethics activities of the following CEMS member universities: Budapest University of Economic Sciences, Copenhagen Business School, Erasmus University Rotterdam, ESADE Barcelona, HEC Paris, Stockholm School of Economics, University of Economics Prague, and Universität St. Gallen.
Papers of the book follow the same structure. First, the authors present state of the art of business ethics in their countries and then concentrate on the educational, research and other activities of their own universities in business ethics, including the introduction of their centers, institutes or groups. Finally, some ideas about their future plans and projects are presented.
Not surprisingly, the character and the level of development of business ethics in the represented European countries and universities are rather diverse. However, common characteristics can be discovered in the business ethics experiences in Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Some critical distance from the mainstream American approach to business ethics is certainly a common characteristic of the CEMS universities represented in the book. European business ethicists are well aware of the progress and innovations that American colleagues have accomplished in business ethics but the relevance and applicability of the American models and theories seem to be limited in the European context.
European business ethics is deeply rooted in culture and less influenced by abstract principles or ideas – this is the main message of our book. In European countries probably culture is the main regulating force that provides a solid basis for ethics in general, and for business ethics in particular. Our book is an effort to demonstrate the distinctiveness and cultural integrity of European business ethics.