AdmEthics Group: know a little about our history!


Group in September 2019

Although the research group Ethics, Virtues and Moral Dilemmas in Administration – AdmEthics was officially created in mid-2019 in the Brazilian governmental research group directory (CNPq), the group’s trajectory has its origins back in 2014. We dedicate this post to tell and share a little bit about our history and researches.

The current formation of the group began in 2014, when its leader, prof. Mauricio Serafim, began studies on the Theory of Moral Development (TMD) by psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg. With this research interest, the project entitled ‘Contributions of Kohlberg’s Moral Development Theory to the debate on rationalities in organizations’ was developed, linked to the Department of Public Administration and the Graduate Program in Administration of ESAG/UDESC.

The objective of the project was to investigate the possibility of using TMD and its methodological framework in the organizational scope and to relate them to the approach of the Brazilian sociologist Alberto Guerreiro Ramos. The intention was to collaborate with the advancement of the understanding about the rationalities in the organizations and to allow possible approximations between both theoretical lines.

Related to this project, two master’s theses in Administration were conducted at ESAG/UDESC that sought to study social phenomena from an administrative perspective based on the approach between TDM and the rationality in organizations (AMES, 2015; COSTA, 2015). The authors set out to bring a new element to the rationality debate: moral development and the resolution of moral dilemmas. To this end, they established a relationship between the theoretical-methodological framework of IDM and substantive and instrumental rationalities. The premise in these studies was that “moral reasoning in the face of dilemmas allows us to understand the tension between the ethics of responsibility and convictions and the rationality present in organizations” (AMES et al., 2016, p. 1).

In August 2016, we continued the previous project focusing the discussion within the public organizations through the research project ‘The Ethics in practice is something else: understanding the moral dilemmas experienced in Public Management’. This new project aimed to understand how the study of moral dilemmas could contribute to the debate on rationalities in public organizations and their management. With this same objective, the project ‘Contributions of Moral Development Theory for the understanding of moral dilemmas in Public Management’ was approved by CNPq (Brazilian governmental research group directory) and developed for two years (August 2016 – August 2018).

The results of these first researches allowed the group’s theoretical and methodological maturation, as well as the identification and approximation with new research themes, such as the Virtue Ethics. Thus, in mid-2019, we officially created the AdmEthics research group in CNPq system to improve the theoretical knowledge and practice of Administration through an interdisciplinary framework for the study of moral phenomena. As well as their implications for human actions and for the development of public and professional life.

The guiding approaches of the group are virtue ethics and rationality in the field of organizations, having as subjects of interest: moral dilemmas, ethical deliberation, phronesis, theories of moral development, moral competence, character, common good, moral imagination, dignity of human being, moral capital, substantive theory of organizations, parenthetic attitude, gift / gift theory, action theories, spirituality-religiosity, ethics and virtues and their interfaces with economics, finance, law and administration.

If you are interested in the topics and would like to know more about our work, here are some of our recent publications in academic journals:

AMES, M. C. F. D. C.; SERAFIM, M. C. Teaching-learning Practical Wisdom (Phronesis) in Administration: A Systematic Review. RAC. Revista de Administração Contemporânea, v. 23, n. 4, p. 564-586, 2019. Disponível em:

CARNEIRO, L. C.; SERAFIM, M. C.; TEZZA, R. Uma Análise Bibliométrica da Relação Entre Ética e Espiritualidade/Religiosidade nas Organizações. RIGS – Revista Interdisciplinar de Gestão Social, v. 7, n. 2, p. 143-166, 2018. Available in:

SANTOS, L. S.; SERAFIM, M. C.; LORENZI, L. Dilemas Morais na Gestão Pública: o estado do conhecimento sobre o tema. Revista de Gestão e Secretariado, v. 9, n. 1, p. 182-207, 2018. Available in:

SANTOS, L. S.; SERAFIM, M. C.; PINHEIRO, D. Bernard Lonergan and Alberto Guerreiro Ramos: Dialogues between the existential subject and the parenthetical man. Organizações & Sociedade, v. 26, n. 88, p. 96-113, 2019. Disponível em:

SANTOS, L. S.; SERAFIM, M. C.; PINHEIRO, D. M.; AMES, M. C. F. D. C. Reason and Administration: revisiting some fundamental elements. Cadernos EBAPE.BR, v. 17, n. 1, p. 37-48, 2019. Available in:

SANTOS, L. S.; SERAFIM, M. C.; ZAPPELLINI, M. B.; ZAPPELLINI, S. M. K. C.; BORGES, M. K. Ensino de ética em cursos do campo de públicas: Uma análise a partir de Projetos Pedagógicos de Curso e das Diretrizes Curriculares Nacionais. Arquivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas, v. 26, n. 18, p. 1-16, 2018. Available in:

SILVEIRA, E.; SERAFIM, M. C.; SANTOS, L. S. A contribuição do ensino de ética no desenvolvimento da competência moral de discentes em administração pública. Arquivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas, v. 27, n. 104, p. 104, 2019. Available in:

Group in November 2019


AMES, M. C. F. D. C. ‘Moral da história’: dilemas, incerteza e a racionalidade de empreendedores econômicos e sociais. 2015. Dissertação (Mestrado Acadêmico em Administração) – Centro de Ciências da Administração e Socioeconômicas, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, 2015.

AMES, M. C. F. D. C.; COSTA, A. E.; SERAFIM, Mauricio C.; PINHEIRO, D. O Arcabouço Metodológico da Teoria do Desenvolvimento Moral de Lawrence Kohlberg em Pesquisas sobre a Racionalidade nas Organizações: Uma Análise dos Resultados Obtidos com o Uso do Defining Issues Test – 2. In: Encontro da Associação Nacional de Programas de Pós-graduação em Administração, 40, 2016, Costa do Sauipe. Anais… Costa do Sauípe: ANPAD, 2016.

COSTA, A. E. Desenvolvimento Moral nas Organizações: um estudo na associação de alcoólicos anônimos. 2015. Dissertação (Mestrado Acadêmico em Administração) – Centro de Ciências da Administração e Socioeconômicas, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, 2015.

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